…Warns INEC over military hijack in its statutory function
By Prince Okafor
Ahead of Saturday’s gubernatorial and state Assembly elections, Egbeme-Ijaw youths, has called on the Chief of Army Staff Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai to call the Nigerian Army personnel to order.
In a statement its leader, Mr. Ebipade Kari, said, “Our attention has been drawn to purported plans by the ruling party at the centre to take over Delta State by all means in connivance with the Nigeria army.
“As peace loving citizens endowed with fundamental and inalienable socio-political rights, we wish to call on the Chief of Army Staff to call his personnel to order and not to allow the highly revered military force in Africa to be used as petty thugs by the ruling government.
“The shaky and flimsy excuse of providing security is mere gimmicks scripted to actualise the biddings of the ruling party. From the events recorded in the South-South region during the February 23, 2019 Presidential and National Assembly elections, it is clear that the ruling party is bent on controlling the states in the oil-rich region and had resorted to violence, gross deprivation of electoral rights and brutal force because it has no structure in the states therein.
“We are deeply pained and are still in a state of melancholy over the death of harmless and innocent citizens in the Southern part of the country especially Rivers, Bayelsa and Delta States and as such we shall not treat with indifference if another ugly episode is re-enacted during the forthcoming gubernatorial and state House of Assembly elections. Elections: Army sets up committee to probe alleged misconduct by troops
“It is in this state of deprivation that the ruling party is boasting and planning to use the military to disenfranchise the people of the kingdom. We want to make it abundantly clear that there is no war in Egbema as from time immemorial; the peace-loving people of Egbema have always employed diplomacy and maximum cooperation with security agencies to nip any security challenge in the bud. The youths and elders of the kingdom have sacrificed so much to ensure that there is sustainable peace in the area.
“We shall not sit down and allow a set of desperate politicians who have no regard for the socio-political and economic survival of the people of Egbema to disrupt the peace in Egbema kingdom.
“The rights of the people to decide their leaders through free, fair and credible elections must be respected and must not be sacrificed on the altar of political desperation. The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) and the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) unambiguously provides for these rights and these must be treated as sacrosanct provisions.
“On an end note, we make a passionate appeal to all youths in Egbema kingdom and Niger Delta at large to be peaceful and law-abiding during the elections. Our youths must be reminded that violence will cause our region more harm than good and as such should employ legal means whenever they are intimidated and deprived of their socio-political rights in the forthcoming elections.”