Don't Turn Our Land To Battle Ground, Gbaramatu Chief Tells Politicians
Few hours to the conduct of the presidential, National Assembly and House of Representatives elections scheduled for Saturday 16th February 2019, the spokesman of Gbaramatu Kingdom, Chief Godspower Gbenekama TDA (JP) on Friday, February 15, 2019, warned politicians not to create artificial insecurity in Ijaw land, particularly in Gbaramatu Communities, Warriors South West local government area.
In a statement made available to The Nigerian Voice in Warri, Delta State, Chief Gbenekama, who is the Fiyewei of Gbaramatu Kingdom advised all politicians across Ijaw land, especially Delta State and Gbaramatu Kingdom in particular to ensure that the people are allowed to have a peaceful poll.
According to him, “And that everybody across Ijaw land maintain the peace we have laboured seriously to sustain before, during and after the elections. I am using this medium to also warn miscreants from other areas not to come to Ijaw land to create an environment of artificial insecurity in the land, such as pipeline vandalism, kidnapping, armed robbery and other social vices. Ijaws are law abiding Citizens of this country, we have suffered enough from the unguided behaviours of few selfish and greedy politicians and strangers. WE WOULD NOT ALLOW GBARAMATU KINGDOM TO BE USED AS BATTLE-GROUND BECAUSE OF ANYBODY’S INORDINATE AMBITION, because when the chicks are down, we would be left to suffer the consequences while such people go back to their communities or townships to live in their palatial houses. We would not relent in our resolve to ensure that we keep the peace as directed by HRM Oboro Gbaraun the 11, the Pere of Gbaramatu kingdom”.
According to him also; ” We would not hesitate to hand over any trouble maker to security Agencies during the course of the general elections should we suspect any foul play during and after the elections. I also call on everyone, young and old to be vigilant and to ensure that we do not allow anybody from within and outside to come and cause problems within our territory thereby giving the wrong impression that our area is insecured. We should not allow those who are looking for an excuse to brand us as bad people to do what they have been longing to do to us as recent events in Gbaramatu kingdom suggests. Every Niger Deltan, Ezon person, and indeed Gbaramatuan must maintain and keep the peace.This advice becomes necessary because of our resolve to keep the peace and have a peaceful poll might be put to test as politicians who may feel things are not going their way might want to cause problems”.
The Gbaramatu spokesman continued: “We should not give any person the opportunity to suggest a cancellation of our votes. Though successive governments have not treated us in the way we deserved, but I believe as long as we remain peaceful, One day God would hear our cry very soon. I appeal to the security agencies to be professional in carrying out their duties, if they gain the confidence of the people, then their work would be successful because the people would now see them as partners and not intimidatory and oppressors.The military high command should also ensure that they monitor the activities of their personnel, because we have suffered greatly in the hands of some overzealous military personnel who sometimes treat us as sud-humans. I also want to appeal to the Niger Delta Avengers to keep the peace and not to preempt the outcome of the elections and threaten to cause problems, we should still give the Federal Government the benefit of doubt, believing that the electoral process and the umpire would not be compromised.They should look at the suffering of the ordinary citizens each time these agitations happens. Its not about any candidate but the interest of our people”.
He called on every youth and young man in Niger Delta and indeed Gbaramatu kingdom to be vigilant and ensure that they report any suspicious behaviour and movement to the Gbaramatu traditional council, “So that we can also work with security agents to nip the problem in the bud. It is only through this that we can have peaceful elections and make our votes count. We should not be docile and feel unconcerned and when criminals from outside are influenced to vandalize oil pipelines, kidnap and involve in other bad things in our area, we that are innocent are always held responsible”
In his words: “Ensure that any criminal element who causes problem within this period is handed over to security agents. We should not allow one bad egg to destroy our common patrimony. The Federal Government should please provide a level playing ground for all candidates so that we the electorate can perform our franchise peacefully. Do not create any situation to warrant anybody to resort to self help. Lastly, Every son and daughter of Gbaramatu kingdom must ensure that they mobilize themselves and every legible voter to our communities and ensure that our votes count, that is the only way our voices can be heard and our sufferings can come to an end”.
"I want to commend the Ijaw Rebirth National Congress (IRNC) for also coming out recently to warn against any plot to attack oil facilities in Ijaw communities. The group in a statement by Comrade Luke Owei, Facilitator of the group made it clear that such a plot could be intended to disrupt the outcome of elections in Ijaw communities. This statement is laudable and we should do everything to maintain the prevailing peace, especially at a time like this”, Chief Godspower Gbenekama added.