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Buhari persecuting Niger Deltans —Ijaw youths, women •Condemn detention of Rivers, A’Ibom RECs

By News Express on 07/08/2015

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The Ijaw Youth Council (IYC), Worldwide, alleged on Wednesday that President Muhammadu Buhari is determined to deal with eminent public office holders of Niger Delta extraction, especially persons believed to be close to former President Goodluck Jonathan.

The IYC in a statement by its spokesman, Eric Omare, alleged that the arrest and detention of the Resident Electoral Commissioners for Rivers and Akwa Ibom states, Gesila Khan and Austin Okojie, by the Department of State Services (DSS), was part of Buhari’s script to achieve his plot against the region.

“This is a continuation of President Buhari administration’s resolve to persecute Niger Deltans and especially those perceived to be close to former President Goodluck Jonathan.”

The apex Ijaw youth body condemned the arrest of Khan and Okojie, stressing that since July 14, 2015, the DSS had arrested and detained  Khan from Bayelsa State twice and subjected her to continuous harassment “on the orders of President Buhari over the conduct of the general elections in Rivers State.”

The group lamented: “At the time of issuing this statement, she has been invited again to appear before the DSS today, Wednesday, 5/8/2015.

“The DSS has no cogent and justifiable reason for the arrest, detention and continuous harassment of Mrs. Khan.

“As a result of the arrest, detention and continuous harassment, Mrs. Khan’s health is failing. In most cases, she is now moving between the hospital and the DSS office.”

IYC stated that the Rivers and Akwa Ibom RECs conducted the last general elections meritoriously without blemish.

According to the statement, “To single out Mrs. Khan and Mr. Okojie to face dehumanising treatment is nothing but persecution of people from a particular section of the country.

“The aggrieved parties in the Rivers and Akwa Ibom elections having submitted their grievances to the tribunal for adjudication, it amounts to trying to truncate the administration of justice for the DSS to be harassing the electoral officers who conducted the elections.

“The IYC wishes to remind President Buhari that his resolved to persecute people from same place or close to former President Jonathan is a venture that would not do his administration any good. President Jonathan conceded defeat to allow peace reign in Nigeria and Buhari should allow sleeping dogs lie.”

Meanwhile, the Niger Delta Women for Peace and Development (NDWPD) has also condemned the incarceration of Khan of Rivers REC and described the incident as an affront to gender.

“The incarceration by the DSS in respect of the just concluded general election in River State was biased, selective and having tribal connotation to witch-hunt and blackmail our revered daughter who have meritoriously served the nation.”

The statement issued by Mrs. Grace Amabo, President of the women group, urged aggrieved parties to await the verdict of the elections petitions tribunals rather than resorting to naked display of force.

The group urged President Muhammad Buhari and the human rights community to call the DSS to order.

•Photo shows Rivers REC Gesila Khan.

Source News Express

Posted 07/08/2015 04:13:53 AM


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