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Why Emmanuel pulled out of IYC election

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One of the presidential aspirants of Ijaw Youths Council (IYC), Bristol Emmanuel, was not part of the election that took place yesterday in Oporaza, Warri South-West Council of Delta State.

The Guardian gathered that he pulled out over alleged doctoring of the delegates’ list among others and called for postponement of the election.

However, IYC had decided to delist from its membership anyone who took the youth organisation to court over the elections.

From all over the country, youths of Ijaw extraction stormed Oporaza yesterday for the election, which was earlier scheduled for March 2020 but was postponed to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-10).

Oporaza in Gbaramatu Kingdom, the hometown of billionaire ex-militant leader, Chief Government Ekpemupolo (alias Tompolo), was chosen to host the election to ensure a hitch-free exercise.

As expected, adequate security arrangement was made, with over five checkpoints from the jetty to the polling area. Items and individuals were thoroughly scrutinised.

Several activists from the Niger Delta, including Rex Ekiugbo, spokesman to another ex-militant leader, Alhaji Mujahid Dokubo-Asari, were on the ground to observe the election.

Also, civil society leaders from the Nigeria Delta monitored the election. They were led by the Delta State Coordinator of Joint Legal Action Aids (JLAA), Mike Egbune, and Anthony Didioma of the PHEW Foundation International.

The IYC is a frontline ethnic youth body with tremendous influence in the Niger Delta. The famous Kaiama Declaration, which it championed, catapulted it to lead agenda setting for the youths of the Niger Delta.

Our reporter observed that the contestants and delegates were on the ground canvassing for votes.

Accreditation began since 3 a.m. as the electioneering officially started on Saturday.

In his goodwill message, Ekiugbo said, “We have observed fair compliance with the COVID-19 safety guidelines and protocols. The weather is cool and the rains are not pouring so far.

“It is our hope that the Ijaw youths will display great maturity and show an example of credible, free and fair elections.”


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