Ijaw Youth Council, IYC, yesterday, condemned the violence in some parts of Rivers State during the rerun legislative election last Saturday.
The group in a statement signed by its spokesman, Mr. Eric Omare, called on the relevant authorities to investigate the roles of security agencies, political leaders and the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, in the rerun.
The IYC claimed that information available to the council indicated that more than 15 persons had been killed so far.
The group feared that there was the possibility of more killings in the ‘volatile’ state with most of them being youths.
“The IYC is worried about the way and manner elections are conducted in Nigeria in recent times, especially in the Niger- Delta region.”
The group lamented that elections, instead of being an opportunity for the electorate to express their preference for candidates of their choice, had become a theatre of war in the region as recently experienced in Bayelsa and now in Rivers State.
It said the trend was dangerous and was capable of encouraging and contributing to another round of insecurity in the region.
The IYC alleged that the disposition of security agencies, especially the military towards their job was partly responsible for the violence now associated with elections in the Niger- Delta.
“This is an obvious retrogression from the gains that were achieved in electoral reform under the previous administration of President Jonathan with Prof. Attahiru Jega as INEC Chairman. INEC should be transparent in its conduct to avoid suspicion which leads to violence.”
The youth group called on the National Assembly to carry out a thorough and open investigation of the role of security agencies especially the military, political leaders and INEC in the violence that marred the Rivers State rerun election.
It said military authorities must also take steps to discipline its officers involved or contributed to the killings.
It called on President Muhammadu Buhari as the leader of the country to take steps to arrest the retrogression as it portends danger ahead of the 2019 general elections.

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