The National Youths For Governance, a Civil Society Organization operating in Cross River State has expressed concern over cases of preelection killings ahead of the governorship and state assembly election in the State.
Religious leaders, activists and people from the academia who make up the group are particularly worried over the killing of five people during political rally in Obudu, Boki and Etung local government areas of the state.
Addressing the press yesterday in Calabar, Acting State Secretary of the group, Ikona Ikona blamed the governorship candidate of the APC in state, Sen. John Owan Enoh over a viral video where he vowed never to allow appointees of the state government and opposition politicians hold any political activities in Etung local government where he hails from.
He regretted that “It is so sad that in times like this where leaders from other climes are warning against political thuggery and violence, our supposed leaders in the state seems to have adopted violence as the only too for winning elections”.
Continuing he said that “As an organization committed to promoting and enhancing good governance in the state and beyond, we have watched with utter dismay how a once peaceful state has been converted in the past few months into a theatre of killings and properties destruction because of the struggle for power. It’s appalling that a state which just recently was regarded as the most peaceful in Nigeria has degenerated into this level”.
While cautioning politicians to avoid making statements capable of inciting violence, he said that the recent crisis in Etung is not unconnected to a viral video of APC Sen. Owan Enoh who has vowed to his supporters not to allow appointees of the state government as well as opposition politicians to carrying out any political activities in the state.
“Last year, around September during APC governorship rally in Obudu, one Wilson Osang, a PDP member was shot at closed range. This follows another killing of Mr. Gabriel Kibe believed to be a leader of PDP during another APC governorship rally in Boki.
“Recently during a peace accord meeting in Etung, Chairman of PDP in Bendeghe-Ekiem ward, Mr. Ayuk Ogar and Kingsley Tangban were gruesomely murdered. The crisis left many others injured.
The recent crisis in Etung is not unconnected to a viral video of the APC governorship candidate, Sen. John Owan Enoh vowing to stop opposition politicians and appointees of government from carrying out any political activities in the local government”, he added.
The group which hinted its plans to take legal action against politicians suspected to be behind the violence in the state called on all governorship and house of assembly candidates to call their supporters to order as politics was a game and not war.
The group also demanded thorough investigation into the killings in Etung, Obudu and Boki councils to serve as deterrent to those planning to cause further mayhem.
“We are by this address calling on the Inspector General of Police, Director General of the State Security Services and the other security agencies to beam their searchlight on activities of politicians in the state as well as investigate the killings and prosecute the culprits accordingly.
“We also called on all the governorship and house of assembly candidates to call their supporters to order as politics is a game and not war”.