An Ijaw group under the aegis of Embasara Foundation has urged the major political actors to end all forms of electoral violence and killings in Nigeria’s delta region especially Bayelsa and Rivers States.
The foundation urged the political leaders to enjoin their party supporters to shun violence and embrace peace.
Dr, Ayekeme Whiskey, Spokesperson for the non-partisan, non-profit leadership and governance initiative, made the appeal during a media chat in Yenagoa city.
Whiskey condemned the attacks on military personnel at Abonema, Rivers State and other Ijaw settlements in Bayelsa State, noting “as a non-partisan political pressure group, Embasara Foundation strongly appeals to all parties involved in this dastardly killing and escalation of tension to immediately sheath their swords”.
According to him, “the primary cause of this ugly episode in Ijawland was the reckless infiltration of Abonema community by political thugs to gain advantage during the Presidential election of February23”.
“The aftermath of that thoughtless act was the killing of innocent Ijaw boys, some of whom took the laws into their hands to engaged the military in armed confrontation, which led to the death of an army lieutenant”, noted Whiskey .
He continued, “this caused soldiers to retaliate and in so doing scores of Ijaw youths lost their lives. This is incomprehensible and we condemn it totally”.
The Spokesperson further stated “we heard that soldiers have laid siege on Abonema and there is heightened tension in the area since March 2 on account of the two dead soldiers by unidentified persons over the destruction of an illegal bunkering site”.
Whiskey stressed, “we, the Embasara Foundation, condemn the killing of government agents, who were merely discharging their legitimate duty”.
Whiskey expressed regrets on the matter, which he noted has adversely affected innocent women, children and the elderly in Abonema community.
The Spokesperson of Embasara Foundation then charged Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State and the Former Governor, Timipreye Silva to caution their supporters, adding “I also urge Governor Dickson to act as the Chief Security Officer of Bayelsa State and nip these senseless attacks in the bud”.#thinkelectionthinkpeace