Governorship Election: Don’t militarise Niger Delta, Gbenekama tells Buratai

Fiyewei of Gbaramatu kingdom

By Shina Badmus

The Fiyewei of Gbaramatu Kingdom, Chief Godspower Gbenekama (JP) has reacted to recent plan of the All Progressives Congress (APC) government to deploy troops to the riverine area during the forth coming governorship election on Saturday.

He also accused the President and the Chief of Army Staff,  Lt Gen Tukur Buratai of deliberately using the Army in the Niger Delta region to harass and intimidate the voting population of the Niger Delta.

He made this reaction in response to statements made during the recent town hall meeting of the APC at PTI conference Hall in Warri.

During the meeting there were allegations that militants of the riverine areas in Delta State are assisting the PDP in rigging of elections and to that effect, there is need for deployment of security men to the area.

Chief Gbenekama in a press release to newamen described this act as one which would not bring peace but confusion and rancour to the area, adding that the riverine communities are peaceful areas and that such intent by the Federal government is not necessary.

Accordingly, Chief Gbenekama said that in view of the forth coming election House of Assembly and Gubernatorial elections, he observed in both the print and electronic media that the ruling Party- APC, in the state has the tendency to influence the Party hierarchy at the federal level to deploy military personnel to Delta State and ensuring that the APC wins the elections either by crook or hook.

Futhermore, he said that it is very worrisome to note that one of the youths of APC made an unguarded speech during the recent town hall meeting held in Effurun, in which he called on the President to send security men to some riverine communities in the state.

According to reports, it is abvious that Bomadi, Burutu and Warri South West areas are adjudged as local government areas militants assist the PDP to rig elections.

“May I state here categorically that this statement made by the said youth is very far from the truth, however, I cannot totatally vouch for some other areas of the Niger Delta because there was a rumour that people were killed in some areas. A good example is about Governor Dickson’s state house photographer who was killed in Bayelsa State in a controversial circumstance.

“However, there was relative peace during the Presidential election in Warri south west, it was also peaceful both in Ijaw and Itsekiri areas. Why are people so much in love with crisis, what do they gain by generating crisis in the Niger Delta area? As far as I am concerned the call to deploy troops to the Niger Delta is a call to crisis and we would refuse crisis in all its ramification in the Niger Delta, no matter the gain accrued to it.