Bayelsa Electoral Killings: Niger Delta group to seek redress in court

Posted by News Express | 14 January 2016 | 2,756 times

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A civil rights organisation championing good governance in Bayelsa State and Niger Delta, Wake Up Bayelsa (WUB), on Wednesday said it had contacted its lawyers to take the Federal Government to court “for the murder of innocent Nigerians who were freely exercising their franchise” in the just-concluded governorship election in Bayelsa State.

According to WUB, re-electing Governor Henry Seriake Dickson for another four years was in the best interest of Bayelsans and the Niger Delta. 

The group also believes the retention of the governor in the Creek Haven will consolidate the ongoing development, prosperity, peace and security in Bayelsa State.

The WUB’s Director of Media and Publicity, Timi John, in a statement, however condemned the violence which characterised the polls in Southern Ijaw, Nembe, Brass and Ekeremor LGAs.

The group accused the Federal Government of creating the enabling environment for the killing of innocent civilians by refusing to arrest the militants before, during and after the election even when President Muhammadu Buhari and the security agencies received petitions and intelligence on the deadly activities of the militant leaders.

WUB said: ‘‘Prominent Bayelsans and traditional rulers wrote formal petitions to President Buhari and the security agencies particularly the Inspector-General of Police, the Director of State Security Security on the activities of these deadly militants. But the Federal Government looked the other way; rather, they gave the militants cover by providing them with security protection may be because the President wants Bayelsa to be ruled by his party, All Progressives Congress (APC).

“We have copies of these petitions. Indeed, when the Bayelsa State Police Command invited the militants for a meeting before the supplementary election, the two APC militants, Africanus Ukparasia fondly called General Africa and Eris Paul popularly known as Ogunboss shunned the police clearly because they are above the law.

“But the ex-militant leaders sympathetic to the Peoples Democratic Party like Joshua Mackever and Pastor Reuben honoured police invitation. As we speak, Ogunboss and Africa still work around as free men in Southern Ijaw LGA while  some people have been killed and many critically injured, including the traditional ruler of Ogunboss’s Peremabri Community, HRH Promise Never Die.”

John accused the APC of using deadly militants loyal to it to mastermind the attacks and killings of innocent Bayelsans in their desperation to capture Bayelsa State.

He however commended Governor Dickson for cancelling the celebration of ‘‘his well-deserved victory in honour of the victims of election violence.”

According to him, by this singular act, Dickson has shown that he is a politician of conviction; a politician of conscience and not of convenience.

While describing Dickson as a core democrat, the WUB believes that the reelection of the governor has rejuvenated the PDP and above all, saved the country from becoming a one party state.

While stressing that a one party state will lead to full blown dictatorship which may spell doom for the country’s democracy, the group believes the retention of the governor in the Creek Haven will now consolidate the development, prosperity, peace and security in Bayelsa State and Niger Delta.

The organisation said: “After the PDP lost power at the centre and many states, the party lost steam. The problems of the party worsened with the tribunal/court judgements across the federation, which nullified the elections of state governors and lawmakers elected on the platform of PDP so much that many people felt that the PDP was dead.

“And with the All Progressives Congress (APC) bent on capturing all states in Nigeria, many Nigerians had given up on the PDP. But with Governor Dickson’s victory, the dry bone may have risen again as many states especially in the Niger Delta where there appears to be impending re-run elections, the governors are confident that if Dickson returned, then they can under study him to retain their seats as well.

“As a group, our finding has shown that if Dickson had been denied his well- deserved victory, many other states especially in the Niger Delta would fall to the APC and if PDP loses the region, it will consolidate the APC in PDP states especially where re-run elections are to hold and that would have made APC to control almost all the states thereby drifting the country to a one party system.”

•Photo shows Governor Dickson.


Source: News Express

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