Ijaw youths of Egbema kingdom in Warri North council area of Delta state, have called on the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai to “call” his men to “order” so that they will not be used to cause disruptions in Saturday’s polls.
They said this was because of reports the All Progressives Congress (APC) led-federal government plan to provide heavy security across the state to ensure free, fair, credible and violence-free elections.
The youths, under the aegis of Egbema Youth Forum, made the call in a statement signed by its President, Mr. Ebipade Kari and circulated to newsmen in Warri on Wednesday.
The statement, which noted the presence of military during electoral exercises in recent times is unconstitutional, pointed out that events resulting from the presidential and national assembly elections in the South-South go to show the desperation of the APC to take over the Niger Delta states.
It also lamented the recorded deaths in the region during the last polls, adding that it will not take lightly a re-occurrence.
Emphasizing the peaceful disposition of its kingdom even in the face of underdevelopment, the group stated that nothing should be done to disrupt the peace which the kingdom has “sacrificed so much” to achieve and sustain.
The youths said: “We want to state clearly, without any iota of reservation that the involvement of the Nigerian Military in electoral process in recent times in Nigeria has gone beyond manageable dimension.
This is a disservice to democratic principles and tenets as the military is statute barred from dabbling into politics.
“The shaky and flimsy excuses of providing security are mere gimmicks scripted to actualize the biddings of the ruling party.
“From the events recorded in the South-South region of the country during the 23rd February, 2019 Presidential and National Assembly elections, it is crystal clear that the ruling party is bent on controlling the states in the oil-rich region and has resorted to violence, gross deprivation of electoral rights and brutal force because it has no structure in the states therein.
“We are deeply pained and are still in a state of melancholy over the death of harmless and innocent citizens in the southern part of the country especially Rivers, Bayelsa and Delta States and as such we shall not treat with indifference if another ugly episode is reenacted during the forthcoming Gubernatorial and State Assembly elections.”
Appealing to youths across Egbema kingdom and the Niger Delta at large to “be peaceful and law-abiding,” throughout the polls, the group said “violence will cause our region more harm than good”, just as it urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), to stamp its foot against military effort to usurp its duties.
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