The Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) Worldwide, Tuesday, condemned in strong terms, the killing of a final year law student in Otuoke, Bayelsa State, during the Zone B election of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS).
The victim, Magam Elvis, a student of the University of Uyo (UNIUYO) was shot dead by suspected rival cultists, who came as delegates for the election that was held at the premises of the Federal University, Otuoke (FUO).
Other victims sustained various degrees of injuries as rival cult groups engaged in a supremacy battle wielding guns, machetes, axes and other weapons.
The Commissioner of Police, Mr. Asuquo Amba, arrested some of the suspects with arms including the Bayelsa State President of NANS, Mr. Perewari Benjamin and vowed to prosecute them.
But the Chairman of IYC, Central Zone, Mr. Tari Porri, said the council would not allow anybody to destabilise the existing peace in the zone, which covers Bayelsa and parts of Rivers State.
Porri, who frowned on the trend of students bearing arms in the name of cultism, described the violence in the NANS election as an aberration and embarrassment to the real essence of education.
He said: “The IYC under my leadership in this zone will not tolerate activities relating to cult wars or inter-communal crisis. We will not tolerate anybody coming to disturb the already existing peace in the state.
“If anyone is found wanting, we will mobilise the entire law-abiding Ijaw youths against the person. Youths should be law-abiding. They should not partake in organisations that will not bring honour to the state or organisation that will bring disrepute to the ijawland”.
While advising the youths to identify with meaningful ventures that would bring joy and progress to the Ijaw nation, Porri, said no election was worth the life of any youth.
“We are appealing to the entire youths in the central zone to be law-abiding and to be serious with their lives instead of engaging in vices that will destroy them.
“Look at a young man who was just killed, a promising young man, a law student from the university of Uyo. The gains and aspirations of that young man had been cut short”, he said.
Porri wondered the fate of the country where an organisation like NANS hitherto reputable for moulding talents and careers of youths had become a safe haven for criminals and cultists.
He said: “We were all parts of NANS. When we were playing active NANS politics, we would shout and scatter things but you would never see a student beating and slapping another student much less handling weapons to kill.
“This time around, young boys of 15 to 20 years will be moving about with guns. Some persons were also arrested because guns were found in their vehicles. We say no to this because it is an aberration.
“As the leader of Ijaw youth central zone, I appeal to students to stay clear of cultism and other activities that will destroy them and bring disrepute to the Ijaw nation”.