Bayelsa State Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Elders Committee and Southern Ijaw local government area paramount rulers at separate meetings on Thursday in Yenagoa, condemned the violence that marred the conduct of the rescheduled governorship election in the area and called on the appropriate agencies to put in place adequate security measures, before the conduct of a re-run election, as ordered by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The Elders in a 7-point communiqué issued at the end of their meeting, called on the security agencies to be non-partisan in the discharge of their statutory responsibilities of maintaining law and order during the re-scheduled poll in Southern Ijaw.
It condemned what it described as unlawful activities perpetrated by some operatives of the security agencies, particularly the army that was not supposed to be directly involved in the election, but connived with the opposition party to hijack and snatch electoral materials, INEC personnel as well as the intimidation and brutalization of voters.
The elders commended the decision of INEC to cancel the election in Southern Ijaw LGA, thereby averting obvious threats to general breakdown of law and order in the State, adding that, the PDP has won the governorship election in the State and ought to have been declared the winner by INEC.
The communique, however, noted that, even though the PDP won the election, as a law abiding party, it is prepared to participate in the re-scheduled election in Southern Ijaw LGA.
INEC was called upon to ensure that the logistics failures, which marred the election in Southern Ijaw LGA are properly addressed in order to prevent re-occurrence.
The communiqué was jointly signed by AVM Larry Koinyan, (Chairman) and Hon. Chief T.K.O. Okorotie (Secretary).
Also in a brief remark, chairman of the committee, Air Vice Marshall Larry Koinyan (rtd), described the Nigerian military as one of the best in the world, but wondered what went wrong during the election in Southern Ijaw.
He, therefore stressed the need for the relevant agencies in the election to give Bayelsa a chance and expressed the hope that the re-scheduled election would be held in the best mode of electoral practices, so that, whoever emerges winner should work to unite the people.
Some of those, who attended the meeting include the state acting chairman of the PDP, Chief Serena Dokubo Spiff, Deputy Chairman of the committee, Senator Nimi Barigha Amange, King Amalate Turner, Chief Patrick Osunu, Hon. Fyneman Wilson, Dr. George Fente and Secretary to State Government, Prof. Edmund Alison Oguru.
Others are, former Deputy Speaker of the state Assembly, Hon. Victor Sam Ateki, Hon. Blesson Akpuluma, Rev. Jane Alek, Chief Barr. Joseph Aseh, Chief Anderson Eseimokumoh, Sir Charles Dorgu, state PDP women leader, Mrs. Faith Opene, Sen. Inatimi Rufus-Spiff and Chief Godwin Odumgba.
In a related development, the paramount rulers from various communities in Southern Ijaw local government area have described the killings and destruction of property by suspected political thugs as unacceptable.
Recounting their experiences, the paramount rulers said the suspected thugs invaded their domains, intimidating and harassing the innocent people, even in the presence of the security operatives.
According to him, several calls were put across to the Army and policemen on election duty, but no help came our way. The last Saturday and Sunday incidents had never happened in the political history of the State.
“Three days after the gory incident, we are yet to know the where about of some of our relations as some of them fled into the bush.
In as much we are ready to abide by the dictate of the law by exercising our voting right, we are calling on the government to put in place necessary security measure in order to secure the lives and property of the people in the area”.
The paramount rulers in attendance at the meeting include, the Amananowei of Ekewe, King Epete the fourth, D.F. Lyon Agbenyain, the eleventh, Amananowei of Obololi, Chief (Wing Cmdr. Rtd) Clifford Mangiri, Paramount ruler of Olugbobiri and a host of others.
Chief Press Secretary to the Governor of Bayelsa State