YENAGOA (Sundiata Post) – The Ijaw Youths for Peace Initiative, an organisation campaigning for non- violence in politics in Bayelsa State, has raised the alarm that the activities of the minister-designate, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri were creating fears and major threat to peace and harmony ahead of the December 5 governorship election.
The IYPI in statement in Yenagoa and signed by its President, James Ebiakpo , claimed that through his actions last Saturday when he visited Ekeremor Ayamasa, Aleibiri, all in Ekeremor Local Government Area, Lokpobiri made lawless remarks which amounted to an invitation to war.
Lokpobiri is the Director-General of the Sylva/Igiri campaign organisation.
The organisation said instead of campaigning during the visits, Lokpobiri allegedly threatened the people that he visited “with one colour” just as Heineken Lokpobiri but that when next he returned, he would be coming as a minister with the federal might in “different colours” having regard to security apparatus, a statement the body said was unbecoming of a man of his standing.
The group added that Lokpobiri allegedly called on parents in Ekeremor to keep their children at home as he would be coming back to Ekeremor to hijack all the votes during the election by force for the APC.
The statement also said the minister-designate warned parents that if they did not keep their children as he threatened, they should be ready to “have them back in whatever they see”.[pro_ad_display_adzone id=”70560″]
The body has therefore called on President Muhammadu Buharito call Lokpobiri to call Lokpobiri to order.
Ebiakpo called on security agencies in the state to investigate its claim, raising concerns that the forthcoming governorship election may witness violence if adequate measures were not put in place.
He claimed that the concerns were well informed as Lokpobiri was said to have a history of violence in all elections he had participated, adding that his alleged threats had agitated PDP supporters in Ekeremor and environs with security implications.
Ebiakpo also noted that whereas the PDP and its leadership as well as the state governor Seriake Dickson had been preaching peace, free and fair election, the APC as represented in Lokpbiri’sactions were doing otherwise.
“Any political party that is promoting violence and impunity is a negation of democratic principles. This is contrary to the APC government’s stated commitment to rule of law where impunity and political misconduct are major issues.
“Consequently, the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government has a responsibility to check the excesses of its operatives as it concerns the minister-designate who ought to beprimary agent of change”, it stated.
Also reacting to the development, the Ijaw Youth Council, Central Zone, condemned Lokpobiri’s for what it regarded as “his penchant for violence”, saying that election was not a war but an exercise to choose by the people in a freewillwithout recourse to intimidation.
In a statement by its zonal chairman, Bobolaiyefa Owopele, the IYC said the comments allegedly attributed to Lokpobiri were signals of what to come during the election and he called on security agencies in the state to check any acts of lawlessness, noting that the minister-designate also made similar threats during the commissioning of APC campaign office in Yenagoa recently.
Owopele has also condemned the stabbing of some youths in Famgbe, a remote suburb in Yenagoa, at the weekend allegedly carried out by a notorious cultist, Osom Blackson,and his boys, an escapade in which three youths were reportedly stabbed.
“The violence unleashed at Famgbe over the weekend by OsomBlankson must be condemned and we call on the police authorities to immediately issue a warrant of arrest on OsomBlankson’, the chairman stated.