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Bayelsa Polls: Prominent groups revisit violence, blame INEC

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…It’s genocide against Ijaw nation
The last may not have been heard of the violence that bedevilled the

conduct of the last governorship election in Southern Ijaw local

government and other areas of Bayelsa state, as a renowned Non

Governmental Organization; Save Ijaw Nation Group presented its findings

to Governor Seriake Dickson.
The groups blamed the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC),

the Federal Government and other relevant agencies for jettisoning the

reports of the various Independent Monitoring Groups.

The report which is expected to be forwarded to the United Kingdom,

National Human Rights Commission and other Global Human Rights

Organizations was presented to the representatives of the Amnesty

International in Abuja last week in Abuja.
While presenting the report to the governor, the leader of SINO

delegation, Comrade Femi Lawson said it was sad to note that barely eight

months after the conduct of the election, the INEC, Federal government and

other relevant security agencies are yet to act on the reports presented

by the Local and International observers.
Comrade Lawson said the report captured audio and visual recording and

testimonies of the victims of the violence that marred the conduct of

election in Southern Ijaw local government.
According to him, the group saw a situation where harmless citizens were

molested, attacked and harassed with a lot of complicity on the part of

those who ordinarily are supposed to protect them.
'We saw burnt down houses and the fear of those of those who are unable to

return to their communities just for the fear of being attacked.

'Also, the report captured testimonies of the victims, pictures of victims

including a baby that was killed, pictures of young men who were not

allowed into their community particularly in Ekeremor local government

Stressing the need for proper investigation into the matter, Comrade

Lawson said it is the only way to prevent future occurrence of such

incident and as well strengthen the nation democratic rule.

He added that the names of those allegedly responsible for the heinous act

are contained in the report, thereby, calling on the government and

relevant agencies to ensure that the culprits are brought to book.

Receiving the report, Governor Dickson thanked the group for taking time

to emphatise with government, the dead, injured and traumatized who have

no voice to speak while agencies and institutions of the Federal

government maintained 'siddon' look attitude.
Hon Dickson described what took place during the election in Southern Ijaw

local government and other areas of the state as a war, pointing out that

it was a well orchestrated genocide against the people of Bayelsa state.

He assured the people of the state that government would not relent in

ensuring that justice is done as far as the laws of the state and the

nation permits.
He added, 'we will pursue and prosecute and bring to justice all the

perpetrators that are identified to have been part of the crime.

'I will direct the Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice to study

this report and set up a legal team to study this report therein.

Secondly, the Secretary to State Government should send a copy to the

Judicial Service Commission for advice and action.
'This is not just an electoral violence but a criminal, heinous and

genocide against the people of Bayelsa state and the Ijaw nation'

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