Elections: Gbaramatu chief appeals to Avengers to keep the peace

•Enjoins military to keep eye on personnel

Niger Delta Avengers (NDA), the Ijaw nation and the entire Niger Delta have been called upon to maintain, peace, law and order during and after the elections.
This is just as the military high command has been urged to be vigilant and wary of the excesses of its personnel during voting exercise.
Chief Godspower Gbenekama, the Fiyewei of Gbaramatu kingdom, Warri South West of Delta State made the appeal in a statement he issued on Friday in Warri, Delta State.
It will be recalled that members of the Niger Delta Avengers, on Thursday, threatened to resume hostilities against oil and gas facilities if Saturday’s presidential election is rigged in favour President Mohammadu Buhari.
Former militant, Chief Government Ekpemupolo alias Tompolo, through his media side, Paul Bebenimibo, had in a statement, too, warned those conscripting him among militants who had endorsed Buhari to stop forthwith, as he has not forgotten the military brutality that took his father’s life in 2016.
Chief Gbenekama, who’s the ssd spokesperson for the Gbaramatu Council of Chiefs, warned Avengers to steer clear of Gbaramatu kingdom if they must go mad again.
 He said each time the military invaded the kingdom when oil and gas facilities were attacked to fish out perpetrators, it was the ordinary Ijaw in the street that usually suffered the untold hardship that followed military occupation.
He said that some faceless politicians were planning to create an atmosphere of insecurity in Ijaw communities, particularly in Gbaramatu Kingdom to give security agents an excuse to invade the area.

While warning miscreants to steer clear of Ijaw land before, during and after the general elections, Gbenekama stressed that any attempt to create artificial insecurity in the land, such as attacks on economic facilities will not be condoned in Gbaramatu kingdom.

The activist urged everyone across Ijaw land to maintain the relative peace laboured seriously for by stakeholders before, during and after the elections.

He, therefore, urged Ijaw people to be law abiding, having suffered enough untold in the hands of Nigeria and greedy politicians.

The Ijaw activist, however, admonished the Federal Government to provide an equal ground for Saturday’s presidential candidates in order for the electorate to cast their votes without fear.
“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.

“I want to call every youth and young man in Niger Delta and indeed Gbaramatu kingdom to be vigilant and ensure that we 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.

“We must ensure that any criminal element who causes a 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 electorates can perform our franchise peacefully.
“We would not hesitate to hand over any trouble maker to security Agencies in the course of this 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 without to come and cause problems within our territory whereby giving the wrong impression that our area is insecure.

“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 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. We should not give any person the opportunity to suggest the cancellation of our votes.

“Though successive governments have not treated us in the way we deserve I believe as long as we remain peaceful, one day God would hear our cry.

“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 intimidators 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 over jealous military personnel who sometimes treat us as less humans,” he noted.

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