Ahead of the election of new leaders for the Ijaw National Congress (INC), a non-governmental organisation, the Izon Nation Organisation has called on stakeholders to eschew partisanship and exhibit neutrality.
The body made the call in a statement issued to newsmen in Yenagoa by the National Vice President and Bayelea State Coordinator of Izon Nation Organization (INO), Comrade Gbasinghan Ajosi, urging stakeholders to constitute an electoral body devoid of politics to conduct a free and fair election that will be acceptable to all.
INO also called on the former INC past presidents, revered traditional rulers as well as the government not to yield to pressure of conducting a fresh election but continue with the process of the 2019 inconclusive election for the sake of equity and fairness, emphasizeing that already votes have been counted for some positions and results declared before the brawl that led to the botched election.
Ajosi who condemned in strong terms the invasion of the INC election venue at Ijaw House by persons he described as unscrupulous elements, outlaws and enemies of Ijawland who want to foist their anointed candidate against the people’s wish, expressed regret that a process that has the tenets of a modern democracy was aborted midway.
According to him, the INO is particularly pained because the 2019 INC election in Yenagoa which would have urshered in the much needed unity, peace and progress has rather created a leadership gap and taken Ijawland backward, adding that now that the process of conducting the inconclusive election has begun the INO will monitor the process to ensure its logical conclusion.
”The Governor of Bayelea State, Senator Duoye Diri has taken a position not to interfere with the process leading to the conduct of the INC election and has promised to be neutral as we the Ijaw Nation will take him for his words.
” We as a body want to use this medium to further call on our respected traditional rulers to stand by their words to remain neutral and not allow negative influence interfere with the election.
“As such influence will not be for the benefit of the interest of Ijaw Nation but will rather breed more divisions, acrimony, bitterness and strife among the Ijaws.”
The INO also used the medium to debunk the rumours that past INC Presidents, the commissioner for Ijaw National Affairs, Hon. Erasmus Patrick have concluded plans to buy over the candidates and infiltrate the delegate list in order to foist their own candidate for their personal interest, saying that such rumours are false and anyone or group fronting any candidate is doing so at their own risk.
The INO National Vice President also used the medium to urge the Commissioner for Ijaw Affairs who has always stand by his words as a father to be more committed to the onerous task of ushering a leadership for the INC and resist any influence by a group or individuals that is against the collective interest of Ijaw people.
” A man of integrity as we know him to be and as someone who is willing to inscript his name with Gold in the heart of Ijaw people he would not fail Ijawland. He should be more conscious of the task ahead bearing in mind that the eyes of Ijaw people are focused on him as to deliver at this most critical time of our search for a formidable voice for Ijaw Nation,” the statement stated.