RIVERS 2023: IYC tasks electorate on peaceful election, says Kalabaris will no more be known for wrong purpose
…Calls on all eligible voters to peacefully go out enmasse and vote
Ahead of the Saturday March 15, 2023, Governorship and state Houses of Assembly elections across the country, Chairman of Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) Kalabari Se-ikpangi, Comrade Edward Asikitams, has called for a peaceful, transparent and credible election in Rivers State, especially in Kalabari land.
He said the Kalabari people will no more be at the front page of newspapers for wrong purposes as it were in previous elections particularly in 2019 but rather join other ethnic nationalities in midwifing a process that will enthrone a government that will change the dynamics of politics and governance in Rivers State.
He made this call on Monday March 13, 2023 during an interview with Kalabari-TV: “Council serves as a vehicle that accommodate, unite and protect the common interest of the teeming Ijaw people and will not for any reason deviate from the tenets of Council.
“The fight against economic exclusion and political marginalization in a state our forebearers created began several decades ago and rather than uniting against our oppressors, we are more of concern in fanning the embers of discord and acrimony in the comity of Ijaw Nation.
“It’s our duty to maintain peace and unity amongst brothers in the comity of Ijaw Nation, hence the call for a peaceful elections in Ijaw land especially in Kalabari Kingdom, ” he said.
He noted that the gubernatorial candidates from the Kalabari cum Ijaw extraction have track records of credibility, trust, competency and commitment in managing the commonwealth of Rivers people, hence seeking the support of other ethnic groups in the state.
“As a renown Pan Ijaw group (IYC) that has earned global repute on its stance for equity, justice and fairness, we have in due consultation with critical stakeholders resolved to commend and encourage our illustrious Ijaw sons and daughter, particularly from the Kalabari stock who are in the 2023 Rivers State Gubernatorial race.
“Their manifestos have further vindicated the Ijaws that we are adequately blessed with both natural and human resources. In reciprocation of our kind gestures to other ethnic groups in the state, we ask for maximum solidarity support on March 18.”
“This is the time to change the political dynamics, hence we will not fall prey to political jobbers and crisis merchants whose interest is to balkanize our once revered Ijaw Nation. We must remain firm in making genuine sacrifices that will keep us more united as an indivisible entity even after the 2023 elections, he added
He further warned those planning of upturning the will of the people through rigging, Intimidation and other means of violence to desist henceforth and reiterated their preparedness in synergy with other security agencies in ensuring a nonviolent election especially in Kalabari land.
“It’s within your constitutional right to decide who you’ll give your mandate to govern and manage our common resources, hence you have the right to vote for your preferred candidates and ensure your vote counts at your various polling units.”
“We’ll vehemently resist any individual or group of persons that will make any attempt to disrupt a supposed peaceful electioneering process in our land. Security Agencies should with every sense of responsibility, maintain decorum and act within the confines of the law by maintaining law and order.”
He again, charged officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to remain apolitical, resist financial inducement from political gladiators and take cognizance of the state of the BVAS in order to avoid panic at the polling units.
“As an electoral officer, you’re an ambassador of Democracy who’s saddled with the responsibility of conducting a free-fair, credible and transparent elections in order to deepen democracy and uphold its values in our Nation.”
“We urge you to remain neutral, unbiased and professional in your assigned duty for the purpose of posterity. Don’t be intimidated to avert the will of the electorates otherwise you will face very strong resistance in the state especially in Kalabari land.”
“In view of the aforesaid, we are calling on all eligible voters to peacefully go out enmasse on Saturday, March 18 and exercise their franchise based on self conviction by voting for their preferred candidates via the ballot,” he said.