The Ijaw Peoples Assembly (IPA) has observed with keen interest processes that built up to the last INC elective convention. We wish to congratulate the ELECO, The Steering committee, the CITRE and the government of Bayelsa State ably represented by the Governor, HE Dickson Seriake for their steadfastness and commitment to a peaceful, fair, transparent and credible process.
Without equivocation, IPA herewith condemns in strongest terms, the barbaric desecration, through disruption of an otherwise peaceful process, of the INC elective convention by teeming youth on Saturday, 29th June, 2019 at the venerated Ijaw wari on Sani Abacha road of the metropolitan City of Yenagoa, Bayelsa state. The disruption is a major set back in our collective resolve as Ijaw people to move forward and position the Ijaw nation strategically in the broader debate on Nigeria’s nationhood. The blame game has taken centre stage. This is understandable at times like this. However, we appeal to all and sundry to sheath their sword, calm frayed nerves, and to proffer positive constructs on the best option that will move the Ijaw nation forward.
These are very trying moments that require greater wisdom to sail the turbulence of nation building. Trading blames, making excuses and wearing defensive toga can only dwarf and stunt all the efforts put forth over the years to get us to where we are today which is an admiration /envy of other ethnic nationalities. Let nobody make the mistake to think that the Ijaw nation has not made meaningful progress.
However, that the dastardly deplorable disruption of the process was effected at the instance of the full glare of a retinue of security agents calls for great concern and requisite scrutiny. There appears to be more to the youth invasion than meets the eye.
In terms of causality, the ostensible provocation of the youth remains unclear as at press time. As a minimum, the act of unholy invasion can be described as a consciencelessly conscienceless consciencelessness.
Giving the current circumstances and the need to steer a course of purposeful direction, IPA makes the following pronouncements and recommendations:
1) That the situation facing us is not intractable and cannot be beyond our damage-control mechanisms.
2) ELECO should announce/declare winners of the concluded elections which we understand are 9 offices.
3) ELECO after wide consultations with relevant stakeholders should within three weeks announce a new date to conduct election to fill remaining vacant offices. That election be conducted within two weeks of the succeeding anouncement period to fill remaining offices in order to constitute a full exco. In otherwords, election be concluded within 5 weeks of this recommendation.
4)The governor of Bayelsa State should provide necessary support and logistics to the ELECO to conclude their assignment.
4.the interim EXCO should institute two committees immediately. 1. To investigate the issue of ballot box snatching and bring perpetrators to book.2.a reconciliation committee to consult with both aspirants, delegates, bayelsa state government and other aggrieved parties with a view to reconciling various interest. The committees should have representation from all sectors including women and youths.
In concluding,we want appreciate all who have contributed positively in getting the Ijaw nation to where we are today. We also want to of the Ijaw nation.
Mr Joel Bisina.
Chairman, Public communication committee.
Dr IBINABO I.