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Bayelsa: Ijaw Elders launch peace initiative ahead of poll

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[FILES] INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu at a meeting with stakeholders from Bayelsa State at the commission’s headquarters in Abuja. Photo/twitter/inecnigeria

The Ijaw Elders Forum (IEF) has warned politicians against electoral violence.

In a statement yesterday signed by its secretary, Efiye Bribena, the group expressed concern over threats of violence and looming lawlessness in the state, noting that as part of efforts to forestall any untoward development, the IEF, in conjunction with Ijaw Professionals Associations (IPA), Ijaw Nations Forum (INF), Ijaw Women Connect (IWC) and G24 Embasara, had concluded arrangements to hold a conference in Yenagoa, the state capital, to deliberate on ways to achieve a violence-free election.

Bribena said the initiative was meant to sensitise the state actors on the need for issue-based campaigns, which would put the environmental, ecological and other challenges confronting the Niger Delta region in the front burner.

“It is expedient for all Ijaw patriots to identify and provide effective, focused and sustainable leadership to articulate and take advantage of existing opportunities and create platforms for rapid growth and development for our people and communities,” he said.

He urged politicians in the state to strictly play by the rules of the game, saying: “As we approach the governorship elections in Bayelsa, we do not want the destruction of lives and property to continue.

“We condemn the criminal conduct of most actors in the political process during the last general elections in Bayelsa and other states in the Niger Delta and call on all stakeholders to denounce thuggery, violence and rigging in any form during the forthcoming governorship election.”


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