Yenagoa – Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State has called on politicians of Ijaw extraction to stop aiding and abetting the killing of innocent citizens in Ijawland in the desperation for political advantages.
He condemned in strong terms the attitude of some politicians towards deploying their supposed federal links to the detriment of the people.
Dickson called on Ijaw sons and daughters from the Niger Delta, who claim to have federal support, to use their contacts to accelerate development, promote peace and stability in the communities, clans and the region.
He made the call during a condolence visit to the Amayanabo of Kalabari Kingdom, King Theophilus J. T Princewill, Amachree XI, over the alleged killing of 38 indigenes of Abonnema and two others in Buguma, Rivers State by soldiers during the February 23, 2019, Presidential and National Assembly elections.
According a statement by the Special Adviser to the Governor on Media Relations, Mr. Fidelis Soriwei, Dickson, also urged the Federal Government to identify and prosecute the security operatives reportedly involved in the slaughter of innocent people in Rivers and Bayelsa states and elsewhere in Ijawland during the last elections.
He stressed that the murder of innocent people in the guise of providing security in an election in the peace-loving Ijaw communities of Bayelsa and Rivers was undeserved and indeed unacceptable.
Dickson said, “The Federal Government needs to identify and bring to book all those soldiers who carried out the dastardly murder in Abonnema and other places in Kalabari Kingdom in Rivers State as well as those who killed and maimed and destroyed property in Bayelsa State and other Ijaw communities. We, the Ijaw people are a peace loving people and don’t deserve this assault.”
He described the visit to the palace of the monarch as a sober one, noting that Bayelsa State also had its undeserved share of brutality and killings by soldiers during the elections.
According to him, the state government buried two of those killed in Bayelsa- a Government House photographer, Mr. Reginald Dei and a PDP chieftain, Seidougha Taribi – who were killed in Oweikorogha, Southern Ijaw Local Government, during the last presidential and National Assembly elections, on Friday.
Dickson, who commiserated with the entire Kalabari Kingdom and families of the deceased, said the ancient kingdom suffered more bloodshed than any other community in the Presidential election which he described a contest between brothers and friends.
He commended King J.T Princewill for the peace and stability in his domain and sued for prayers for continued peace and development despite provocations and challenges.
He added that he would mobilise the leaders of the Ijaw nation to honour the revered Kalabari monarch on his 90th birthday in January, next year.
In his remarks, the Amayanabo of Kalabari Kingdom, King Theophilus J. T Princewill, Amachree XI, thanked the Bayelsa governor and his entourage for the condolence visit, which he described as timely and wise.
He expressed sadness over the killings and wanton destruction of property by soldiers, not only in his kingdom but in the entire Ijawland and prayed against a reoccurrence.
He also appreciated Dickson for his generosity and contributions to the development of Kalabari Kingdom.
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