Ogoni Leaders from the Four Local Government Areas of Khana, Gokana, Tai and Eleme in Rivers State have expressed concern over the plan by the APC to rig the Presidential Elections in the Four Local Government Areas through the active support the General Officer Commanding (GOC) 6 Division of the Nigerian Army, Major General Jamil Sarham and the State Commander of Special Anti-robbery Squad, SARS, Akin Fakorede.
In a press conference on Wednesday in Port Harcourt, Spokesman of the Ogoni Leaders , Senator Lee Maeba decried the actions of the General Officer Commanding (GOC) 6 Division, Major General Jamil Sarham and Rivers SARs Commander, Akin Fakorede to sabotage the peaceful conduct of the general elections in the Ogoni Local Government Areas.
They said: “Contrary to the demand for neutrality prescribed by the code of conduct regulating the engagement of security agencies on electoral duties, Major General Jamil Sarham and Akin Fakorede have become partners and active participants in the politics of the state on the side of the APC.
“We experienced an indication of Major General Jamil Sarham romance with the APC when he sent soldiers to turn back our people from getting to their communities on Friday 15th February, 2019 , 24hours before the time for the restriction of movement of persons imposed by the Inspector General of Police for the purpose of the rescheduled General elections “.
The Ogoni Leaders said that their experience with Akin Fakorede and his SARs Personnel on 15th February 2019 was more worrisome as without reason, SARS personnel arrested and detained PDP members in the Four Ogoni Local Government Areas.
According to them: “The primary plan of the APC for the general elections is to use armed thugs to attack polling stations, shoot sporadically to scare voters on the queue and cart away voting materials, especially in Ogoni areas where voter turnout is likely to be very high and overwhelmingly for the PDP.
“Already, APC leaders in the area, including Victor Giadom have stockpiled his country home in Bera, Gokana Local Government Area with hired mercenaries and ammunition to be used to sabotage the general elections in the area “.
The Ogoni Leaders noted that there are confirmed reports that the APC leaders have procured operational vehicles with military colours, which would be used to unleash mayhem on voters on Election Day.
“The roles of Major General Jamil Sarham and Akin Fakorede in this unholy enterprise are very specific. They are to provide adequate military and police backing for the APC armed thugs to have free reign in our communities and inflict maximum damage to the conduct of the elections so much that INEC may have no other option than to void the exercise in the entire Ogoni area to the disadvantage of the PDP.
“Mr Akin Fakorede’s SARs is due to unleash his operatives to brazenly interfere with the election process, prevent PDP Agents from accessing collation centres and arrest and detain prominent leaders of the PDP until after the elections as was the case during the 2016 rerun elections “, the Ogoni Leaders declared.
The Ogoni Leaders stated that the people of the area are peace loving and law abiding, hence they don’t want anybody to disturb their peace, kill their people and destroy their property in the name of elections.
“We call on all Nigerians and the International Community, especially the United States, Britain and European Union to hold Major General Jamil Sarham and Akin Fakorede responsible for any violence and or loss of lives and property in Ogoni-land uring the 2019 General election “, the Ogoni Leaders declared.
They stated that they have no confidence in Major General Jamil Sarham. They requested the Chief of Army Staff to withdraw him and his men from election duties in Rivers State.
The Ogoni Leaders also requested the withdrawal of Rivers SARS Commander, Akin Fakorede from Rivers State, stating that they have lost confidence in him.
They decried the plot to exploit the extra judicial shoot at sight order of Mr President to kill and maim Ogoni voters and supporters perceived to be against the APC.