- The Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) wants the results of the Rivers governorship election declared immediately
- The youth group also calls for the immediate withdrawal of security men from the state
- The organisation claims the suspension of results in the election was targeted at candidates from the Ijaw community
The Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) worldwide has demanded the immediate recommencement of collation of results in Rivers alleging that the suspension of the exercise was targeted at its people in the state.
The youth organisation, which said the move is to stop Ijaw candidates from winning, also called for the immediate demilitarization of the state in the interest of peace.
The Nation reports that in a statement signed by its president, Eric Omare, in Abuja, the IYC claimed that all Ijaw sons in the governorship race were being frustrated in the court.
It cited the examples of Tonye Cole and Dumo Lulu Briggs, stressing that the same treatment is being extended to Awara Biokpomabo who is the candidate of the AAC.
“The Ijaw Youth Council worldwide has closely watched the activities surrounding the 2019 Rivers state gubernatorial and House of Assembly elections. The reports coming from our members scattered around the state only proves to us that the Ijaw nation is under attack.
“Scores of Ijaw sons and daughters have been harassed and intimidated by the activities and presence of the Nigerian Army in Rivers state, more particularly the attack on His Royal Majesty, Tom Ateke, and the former president of the IYC, Alhaji Asari Dokubo. We condemn these attacks in the strongest terms.
“Thugs are being armed to cause mayhem in core Ijaw communities while other locations in the state enjoy the comfort of a peaceful environment. These and many more atrocities are plaguing the Ijaws in Rivers state. We will not tolerate it!
“We have also monitored the collation of results across all the 23 LGAs in Rivers state. From our records, an Ijaw son was leading in the gubernatorial race before INEC suspended the exercise. Though we cannot predict the outcome of the elections, we want to make known our suspicion of sabotage.
“It is funny that leading to this date; every gubernatorial candidate from Ijaw extraction that gains momentum and stands a chance of victory at the polls was mysteriously knocked out of the race.
“The issues of Tonye Cole from the APC and Dumo Lulu Briggs from the Accord Party are still moving front and back in court while election day has come and gone. Now Engr Awara Biokpomabo of the AAC; an Ijaw son, was leading and suddenly INEC suspends the exercise for security concerns.
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“Though we do not support or celebrate violence, previous elections that have produced winners in Rivers state were not in any way better including the 2015 elections.
“We demand equity for all. We call on INEC to immediately commence with the state collation exercise or we will be left with no other option than to act like a nation under attack. We also demand immediate stop to the attacks on Ijaw people and communities in Rivers state,” the statement said.
Legit.ng earlier reported that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) condemned what it described as “confiscation’’ of the Rivers governorship election outcome and demanded immediate release of the poll result to avert serious crisis.
The PDP national publicity secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, in a statement issued on Sunday, March 10, in Abuja, said that the party completely revile the subversive act by soldiers, who were alleged to have seized and diverted the results to an army barrack in Port Harcourt.
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