Ijaw youths under the auspices of Defender of Izon Nation (DIN) on Sunday urged the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to jettison the idea of using Gov. Nyesom Wike to conduct Bayelsa guber primaries.
The DIN, an Ijaw pressure group comprising militants and non-militants and known in the creeks as Mangroove Boys, in a statement issued in Yenagoa said it will resist Wike’s as returning officer of the September 3, 2019 primaries of the PDP.
In the statement signed by their spokesperson, Omuwari Godspower, the group said the participation of the Rivers governor in the primaries would lead to unpleasant consequences as Ijaws are aggrieved over “Wike’s neglect of Ijaws in Rivers State.”
DIN alleged that Wike was oppressing the Ijaws in Rivers since he came into power, adding that Ijaw sons and daughters have been denied juicy appointments and portfolio to enable them empower their followers and supporters
The group claimed that Wike denied Ijaw people who sacrificed their resources, time, intellect and lives for his first and second term elections of infrastructural developments.
They said that no meaningful project was sited in the Riverine communities in the state where Ijaws predominantly reside.
The youth group further said that “Wike, who marginalized Ijaws as minorities should not preside over their affairs in a state like Bayelsa where Ijaws are in the majority.
“Ijaw people have suffered greatly under Gov Wike’s administrations, hence, such a fellow cannot be a credible umpire.
“What the people of Bayelsa and Ijaw people want is a level playing field for all aspirants who seek to govern the state in all the political parties to test their popularity in a conducive atmosphere.
“This is not limited to the People Democratic Party alone, All Progressives Congress, Labour Party and other political parties as well should conduct credible primaries.
“Recall in 2015 APC Primaries when a candidate was perceived to have the nod of the party’s national executives, the will of the people prevailed. Politics should be grassroots focused or local not based on national connection.
“We Ijaws cannot afford to continue in our mistakes. While we reiterate that internal democracy is core prerequisite to non-violence, free, fair and credible general elections.
“We equally enjoin political players and actors to play clean and in accordance with INEC rules and regulations in the upcoming November 16 elections.
“We wish to state categorically clear that the Mangrove Boys will disrupt the primaries if Wike is not removed and if the primaries is held anywhere outside Yenagoa.
“Also any candidate that emerges under such questionable process will be resisted by Bayelsa people.
“It is public knowledge that Gov Wike has anointed a candidate and as such cannot be fair to others. Let not cause chaotic climate when it can be avoided,” DIN stated.