Women in Opu Nembe in Nembe Bassambiri have cried out to President Muhammadu Buhari and the Independent National Electoral Commission to suspend the forthcoming election in the troubled community.
Spokesperson of the Women, Mrs. Sotonye Samuel-Johnson, said in a statement on Monday that the call to postpone the election in the violence-ridden community was necessary to safeguard the lives and properties of women and children in the area.
Samuel-Johnson said that women and children who fled the community to nearby Ogbolomabiri and Yenagoa have not been able to return to their community because of the violence being perpetrated by thugs backed by the Army led by Major A. Modibbo Commander of JTF in Nembe.
She urged the President to direct urgent investigations to the activities of the thugs and their Army collaborators which according to her had assumed a frightening dimension.
Samuel-Johnson said that the thugs had become so emboldened to the extent of sacking detachments of Mobile policemen and operatives of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence deployed to maintain order in the community.
She stressed that it had become clearly unsafe for the women folks and their children to return to Nembe Bassambiri during the tensed election period.
She stated further that the Army which was equipped to deal with such instances of violence had looked the other way for the thugs being led by one Sam Kodjo, an oil surveillance contractor, to subject the community to violence.
She argued that it would be foolhardy on the part of the women, and their families to return to the besieged communities without being guaranteed of their safety by the security agencies especially the Army which she said has become compromised in the area.
She said, “We the Opu Nembe Women are making this frantic appeal to President Muhammadu Buhari and the Independent Electoral Commission to postpone the forthcoming House òf Assembly election in Nembe Bassambiri as a means of safeguarding the lives of women and children in the area.
“Several women and children have been displaced in Nembe Bassambiri by the thugs led by Kodjo under the directive of former Governor Timipre Sylva,
“We are constrained to say here that the APC thugs who enjoy the support of the Army have driven many voters out of the area.
“As things stand, it is virtually impossible for our people to return to Bassambiri if the security agencies cannot guarantee their safety.”