Tony John, Port Harcourt
A four-time minister of the federation, Alabo Tonye Graham-Douglas, has appealed to the Federal government to carry out a critical evaluation of the attacks on the Nigerian military and the attendant killings on Saturday, February 23, during the presidential and National Assembly elections in Abonnema, Akuku Toru Local Government Area of Rivers State.
Graham-Douglas, who is also a monarch in Abonnema town, made the call when he spoke in Port Harcourt, on the heels of tension in the area, which has forced some residents to flee their homes.
He noted an influx of suspected militants in the community ahead of the last presidential and National Assembly polls, urging the Federal government to investigate who invited the hoodlums into the area and provided them with sophisticated weapons.
The former Minister of Aviation, Labour, Sports, Culture, and Tourism also said that reports available showed that over 30 persons were killed during the botched polls in the area.
He said: “The Abonnema situation, which now concerns the Federal government, should be used to resolve multiple inquisitions, namely: ‘who hired the large numbers of militants and brought them to Abonnema?
“Who provided the sophisticated weapons, like the AK-47 to those militants that came into Abonnema? Who accommodated them in Abonnema? Who were the political leaders and actors in the community who aided and abated the opposing political youths? Which of the groups actually confronted the law enforcement agencies on the day of the elections? he asked rhetorically.
“What happened during the presidential and National Assembly elections in Abonnema was very unfortunate. There was massive importation of hoodlums. Where did they come from?”
He frowned that militancy had become a profession in the Niger Delta, and urged security agencies to nip the culture in the bud.
He, however, advised Rivers people to be peaceful and vote on Saturday according to their conscience.