By Egufe Yafugborhi, PORT HARCOURT
RIVERS State All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain, Joe Kokar-Waadah, has petitioned the International Criminal Court (ICC), the ECOWAS Court of Justice and United Nations (UN) and the National Democratic Institute, (NDI) Washington, to checkmate perpetrators of political violence in Rivers as another general election draw near in Nigeria.
Also petitioned by the Canada-based Korka-Waadah are governments of the United States of America, the United Kingdom and that of Canada who he is requesting to take advantage of their links and interests in Rivers to intervene in reversing a culture of elections violence gradually being established in the state over the years.
The political management consultant stated, “Every election season since Governor Nyesom Wike came into power, he fabricates and deploys all sorts of excuses to attack and intimidate the opposition in Rivers to have his way with elections.
“This time around, against his denials, no one is lost to the fact that the recurring attacks and disruption of electioneering movements and campaign rallies targeted at the opposition in Rivers are being perpetuated by state actors, including security agencies, under the watch of Wike.
“I’m not surprised to have heard Sen Magnus Abe, one of Rivers guber candidates describing security agencies in Rivers as acting more like the armed wing of Rivers PDP to harass and attack opposition parties leaders and supporters.
“In absence of even the federal government interventions on the excesses of Wike and ruling PDP against the opposition, it is only expedient that we ask the international community’s intervention in pulling its weight to bring about peaceful and credible elections in Rivers.
“To the UN, the ICC and the ECOWAS Court, I urge them to beam their searchlight on Rivers to probe and bring to book key actors instigating political violence in the state. This perennial madness cannot be allowed to continue in our dear.
“For the US, UK and Canada who at one point or the other have visited Rivers to interact with key stakeholders and expressed further commitment to be involved in monitoring the process of the coming elections to ensure decorum and transparency, they must walk the talk by reprimanding the perpetrators of violence and applying sanctions to rid the system of violence and sundry unhealthy practices.”
According to the Rivers APC chieftain, “There is a limit to everything. The handwriting is clear on the wall. With Tonye Cole ahead of the park, the end of Wike’s reign of autocracy has come. The international community must assist in ensuring nobody tries with undue advantage to derail an imminent APC takeover. Above all, there should be no bloodletting.”
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