Bayelsa Re-Run: Lokpobiri’s Community Sends SOS To President Buhari
As the re-run governorship election in Southern Ijaw and 101 units in 6 Local Government Areas of Bayelsa State take place this weekend, the Chiefs and people of Ekeremor Community, headquarters of Ekeremor Local Government Area, have expressed serious concern over visible threats of violence, lives and property by the Minister of State for Agriculture, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri.
To this end, the community, has in a strong worded letter to President Muhammadu Buhari requested that, the Minister of State be called to order in the interest of the peace, security and for the people to exercise their franchise.
In the letter dated the 3rd of January, 2016 and signed by Messrs. Preye Okoyen and James Ombeh, the Chairman and Secretary of the Community Development Committee, CDC, the people appealed to President Buhari to check the excesses of Senator Lokpobiri and call him to order, so that, there will be peace and security before, during and after the January 9 re-run election in 9 units of the community.
The Ekeremor people restated their preparedness to vote, pointing out that acts of violence and intimidation are totally condemn-able and called on the leaders of the various political parties and their followers to go about their activities in the most peaceful and lawful manner to enable the people exercise their civic responsibilities without molestation.
“We are constrained to appeal to Your Excellency to call on the Minister of State to order in the interest of peace, security and the exercise of our franchise.
The people of Ekeremor community want to vote and do not want any violence and intimidation. Let every party leader and their followers go about lobbying peacefully and in a lawful manner so that the people can freely exercise their franchise”
The letter called the attention of President Buhari to bracing acts of lawlessness by Lokpobiri, who on the 30th of December, 2015 arrived the community with a large number of uniformed and ununiformed security personnel, including soldiers, who on the night of the 31st of December, 2015, under the guise of ushering in the New Year went about destroying the posters of rival party candidates and offices.
A part of the letter to the President also quoted Senator Lokpobiri, as phoning a popular Youth Leader in the community, simply known as “Back to Life” that, he was sending someone to kill him, boasting that, unlike the December 5 exercise, he is better prepared for the this weekend’s re-run and would do anything, including the application of force to ensure that, the APC wins all the 9 units of Ekeremor Town.
While calling for the urgent intervention of President Buhari, the leadership of the Ekeremor community notes that, already there were signs of grave danger, stressing that, the tension in the community was palpably high.
It notes with regret that, there could be breakdown of law and order, if nothing concrete is done, lamenting that, majority of the members of the community are troubled by the mere realization that, the minister, who is their own son, is the very person terrorizing and oppressing his own people, instead of protecting them.
“Mr. President, these are signs of grave danger that is looming in the community towards 9thJanuary and the tension in the community is palpably high.
We foresee breakdown of law and order if nothing concrete is done by the authorities, because majority of the people of the community cannot stomach the realization that we produced a Minister who has come to terrorize and oppress his own people whom he is supposed to protect”.