Primaries: IYC warns PDP, APC against violence, bloodshed

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The Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) Worldwide has warned political actors in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC) against resorting to violence and bloodshed in their various governorship primaries in Bayelsa State.

The IYC in a statement signed by its Secretary-General, Alfred Kemepado, appealed to the parties to ensure a hitch-free, transparent and credible gubernatorial party primaries in Bayelsa.

He asked them to play by the rules and avoid actions and utterances that could heat up the polity.

He, however, commended some of the aspirants from both parties for their peaceful disposition, and the decent ways they had carried out their political activities in the state.

But he called on other violence-prone politicians, who would stop at nothing to satisfy their selfish ambitions to tow the path of peace with their supporters, while  contesting the available positions.

He said: “Parties should take advantage of this season to build bridges through negotiations and not reinforce the walls of hate and division in Ijaw Nation.

“We call on all the parties and the delegates to the conventions to ensure that their votes and party ticket are given to aspirants who have the state at heart and can uphold the place of Ijaw Nation amongst nations.

“These are trying times in the history of our country and candidates must be picked in view of the challenges ahead. We advise that delegates should consider more seriously only candidates who have shown understanding of our economic problems and potentials in our fast deteriorating environment.

“Delegates should consider aspirants who are loyal to the good success of Bayelsa State and the Ijaw Nation and not be influenced by immediate benefits such as the usual Naira that would be deployed to buy their conscience and the future of their children.

“However the contest goes among the competent aspirants, the ultimate victory belongs to Bayelsans, so there is no need to shortchange anybody, as no Ijaw man is more Ijaw than the other. So the primaries should reflect the expectations in the general elections which is peace and the absolute will of the people.

“Furthermore, we call on all the aspirants to approach the primaries with brotherly love for each other. The plot to cause circumstances that will incite violence, or the deliberate attempt to make youths go into violence should be avoided.

“We also call on the youths not to allow themselves to be used as tools to cause violence and unrest, as it is hardly recorded that a politician died for his elections, but it is always the youths that end up being used as sacrificial lambs, while these politicians later kiss and makeup whenever their interests align. They should peacefully campaign for and support their choice candidates and resist any form of violence.

“We want to remind the political players of the state that the council is in touch with embassies and the diplomatic community to report any offensive incidence and the character behind any form of violence so as to facilitate VISA and travel ban for such individual or group of persons. Our mercenaries set out will gather information with evidence which we would forward to the world”.

(The Nation)