Austin Pade, Yenagoa
A Bayelsa-based civil society group, Embassies Foundation, on Monday urged Gov. Seriake Dickson and former governor Timipre Sylva to halt electoral violence and political killings in Ijawland.
Embasara Foundation a non-partisan, not-for-profit leadership and governance initiative made the appeal in a press conference, in Yenagoa.
Spokesman for the group, Dr. Ayekeme Whiskey, said that the group condemned the attack on military personnel that resulted in killings at Abonema and other Ijaw settlements in Bayelsa.
“As a non-partisan political pressure group, Embasara Foundation strongly appeals to all parties involved in this dastardly killing and escalation of tension to immediately sheat their swords.
“We have it on good authority that the primary cause of this ugly episode in Ijawland was the reckless infiltration of Abenema community with political thugs to gain advantage during the Presidential election of Feb.23.
“The aftermath of that thoughtless act was the killing of innocent Ijaw boys, some of whom took the laws into their hands to engaged the military in armed confrontation that led to the death of an army lieutenant .
“The soldiers then went on a reckless rampage and killed scores of Ijaw youths in retaliation. This is incomprehensible and totally condemnable.
“If it is true that the latest purported siege and heightened tension in Abonema since March 2 was on account of killing of two soldiers by unidentified persons over destruction of an illegal bunkering site,” Whiskey said.
He said that the group condemns the killing of agents of government who were merely discharging their legitimate duty.
He said that it was regrettable that the act has brought untold apprehension tension and innocent women, children and men of Abonema community.
He said that the recourse to killings of innocent lives is sacrilegious in the name of election was unacceptable.
On the speculations that the families the two people killed on February 23 polls were planning a reprisal attack, he urged Gov Dickson to rise above partian interest and nip the attack in the bud.