Bayelsa Polls: Prominent groups revisit violence, blame INEC
…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
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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