The National President of the Ijaw youths council (IYC) world-wide, Barr. Oweilaemi Pereotubo has condemned the killing of about thirty Ijaw youths in different parts during the last Saturday presidential election.
Barr. Oweilaemi made the disclosure in a press statement made available to daily Watch in Yenagoa, said ‘‘As the Ijaw Nation mourn the deaths of over thirty Ijaw people that were killed during the 23rd February Presidential and National Assembly elections, it is pertinent for our great President, His Excellency Muhammadu Buhari, winner and President-Elect of the last Saturday election to be magnanimous and gracious in victory.
‘‘The President as father of all Nigerians irrespective of political party affiliations need to demonstrate his fatherly position by extending a hand of fellowship to even members of the opposition so that collectively, they can join forces and resources in the building of a greater, united and more prosperous country devoid of ethnic and religious sentiments.
‘‘Election in the right sense is supposed to be like the game of football where winners and losers still embrace and congratulate each other at the end of the game as against the present deep divided, division, hatred and enmity the 2019 general elections has created which is very inimical and dangerous to our corporate existence.’’
Continued ‘‘It is also important to call the attention of Your Excellency once again to the killings that took place in Rivers and Bayelsa States especially at Abonnema in Akuku-Toru Local Government Area and Bassambiri in Nembe Local Government Area where over thirty Ijaw people were killed in cold blood by security agents mostly men of the Nigerian Army excluding the hundreds of people that were wounded. One of the most painful death was that of Mrs. Amakiri Ibisaki, a mother of three that was hit by stray bullet that was fired by the military. Till this very moment, a number of young men from Abonnema are still missing and their whereabout remain unknown.
‘‘The further militarization of the Niger Delta in the countdown to the Saturday 9th March Governorship and State Houses of Assembly elections is not a healthy development. This sad development is sending a very negative signal to Nigerians and even members of the International community especially since the Niger Delta region is relatively peaceful without prevalent security threats compared to the North East that is under heavy threat and attacks by members of the Boko Haram terrorist group.
‘‘While we are condemning the deaths including that of the Army Lieutenant that died during the ugly incident at Abonnema, I wish to join other law abiding, peaceful and well meaning Nigerians to appeal to Your Excellency to call the military command to order because Nigeria is not at war with itself.’’ He said.
According to the 2010 Electoral Act, INEC was supposed to be solely responsible for the engagement and deployment of security personnel including men of the Nigerian Army who are on election duty but that was not the case. Contrary to the case of 2015 that INEC was fully in their control, we witnessed a situation where the soldiers were under the direct command of the various brigade, divisional and threatre commanders that portrayed a war like situation and scenario.
‘‘In concluding this unbiased, objective and dispassionate position to Your Excellency, I wish to advice the APC led federal government to take the lead in the peace and reconciliation process already initiated by the National Peace and Reconciliation Committee under the chairmanship of General Abdulsalami Abubakar (Rtd). The APC led federal government has to show a very high level of maturity and restraints by cautioning it’s leaders like Adams Oshiomhole it’s National Chairman from provocative statements that are capable of setting this great country on fire’’ he admonished.