Ijaw National Congress (IJC)
It wasn’t a very pleasant experience for about 150 delegates at the Ijaw National Congress INC election held in Yenogoa, Bayelsa State.
News about the election is that the delegates were held hostage by warring and irate youths over suspicion that some powerful forces were working against the emergence of Chief Gordon Bozimo as the president of the Congress.
It was also revealed that the youths were sympathetic to the candidature of Bozimo who is also supported by the state government.
The youths who numbered over hundred (100) blocked and cordoned off the venue of the accreditation of delegates which is the famous Gabriel Okara Cultural Centre hence preventing the delegates from moving to the Ijaw House the venue of the election in Yenogoa.
It was reported that despite the presence of armed security personnel at the venue of the election the youths still succeeded in carrying out the act.
Some youths interviewed accused one of the candidates Professor Benjamin Okaba of corruptly influencing the election by bringing in underage persons into the accreditation hall to be accredited.
Chief Gordon Bozimo (Government Candidate)
He was also accused of bribing some delegates to vote for him an attempt to subvert the will of the majority.
The reaction of the chairman of the electoral committee of the INC election could not be gotten as of press time, however, one of the delegates expressed sadness over the incident blaming it on the Bayelsa state government.
The delegate said the youths were youths sponsored by the Bayelsa state government because of their desperate aim of controlling the INC as the forthcoming governorship election in Bayelsa approaches in November.
He Revealed that even the so-called government candidate of Bozimo did not come for the accreditation. Another delegate, Barrister Zuogha Konugha who also expressed his frustration with the whole scenario said the election into the executive offices of INC should not be a do or die affairs.
According to him, it is a cultural and ethnic election and not the usual political election that has the perks of office as an attraction. He, therefore, wondered why attempt should be made to manipulate a seemingly ordinary election.
Barrister Konugha, however, commended this year’s INC election, confessing that this is the first time since he started attending INC elections that candidates are very serious in the campaign and in the discussion of issues. It is no longer business as usual as previously the case.
This according to him will help to produce a strong and formidable leadership and persons that can serve the interest of the Ijaw people.