July 15, 2024

Stop heating up polity in Ijaw nation, group tells Diri

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Stop heating up polity in Ijaw nation, group tells Diri

Nathan Tamarapreye, Yenagoa

The Ijaw Professionals l, a Niger Delta group has called on Gov Douye Diri, to stop heating up Bayelsa and the Ijaw nation with his ill-advised campaign and media trial against a former Petroleum Minister, Chief Timipre Sylva.

The group said the strategy adopted by Diri in his quest for political survival was casting aspersion on Bayelsa and embarrassing the entire Ijaw ethnic nationality.

The group in a statement signed by its Secretary, Chief Clarkson Ayebaepreye, said Diri as a governor had forgotten the significance of his office and his role as the number one citizen of Bayelsa in protecting the collective interests and heritage of the Ijaw nation.

Ayebaepreye said Diri’s recent attempt borne out of political exigency to force an allegation of murder down the throat of Sylva, a former Governor of Bayelsa and former Petroleum Minister, State, of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, was a shameful voyage that would only cast the Ijaw nation in bad light.

He said: “Sylva remains our illustrious son and one of the pride of the Ijaw nation. He is one of the Ijaw’s valued assets and deserves to be accorded respect and treated with dignity.

“The only thing we have seen in Diri’s recent moves against Sylva including his attempt to hang an allegation of murder around his neck is politics taken too far. Diri is entitled to fight for his political survival, but it must be done within the limit of common sense in such a way as not to ridicule the Ijaw nation.

“How can you accuse a man of murder in the media before commencing an investigation to know whether he committed such a heinous offence?

“If you feel that Sylva is guilty, why are you dramatising it, making conclusions even before beginning your investigations? It is only the court that reserves the prerogative to try an individual and pronounce him guilty of any offence. Everything is not politics. It should be moderated especially by a man, who holds the trust of the Ijaw nation.

“While we condemn any killing at all whether before, during or after an election, we warn that trying to use it as a political weapon against a personality of Sylva just because he is challenging the election of the governor in court is simply a witch-hunt that will end up dragging the entire Ijaw nation in the mud.

“We are calling on the governor to retrace his steps, seek other strategies to survive politically and allow Sylva to pursue his case at the judiciary. It is Sylva’s right to challenge Diri’s re-election and the governor’s right to defend his victory. Going beyond this to chase shadows is not acceptable.

“But if Diri thinks that he has a criminal case of murder against Sylva, we advise him to hand over his evidence to the police and allow the court to do its job. It is foolhardy to accuse a man of a crime before initiating an investigation to determine the man’s culpability.

“This approach will only ridicule the Ijaw nation and cast us in a bad light before other serious ethnic nationalities, who understand the importance of boundaries in brotherly banters”.

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