Mujahid Asari Dokubo, founder of the Niger Delta People’s Voulunteer Force (NDPVF), has alleged that the All Progressives Congress (APC) is bent on rigging the Bayelsa governorship election. He has threatened that the country will “go up in flames” if the election ends in favour of APC’s Timipire Sylva, declaring that Boko Haram will be child’s play compared to what would happen. Dokubo said a new group, which he identified as the Reformed Ex-Agitators of the Niger Delta (REND), is observing the development in Bayelsa closely and would stage a return to the creeks should the election be manipulated.
Accusing President Muhammadu Buhari of having undue influence over the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the militant leader gave the government a one-week ultimatum to “hands off from Bayelsa polls” or watch the country “go up in flames”. “Ex-militants have regrouped under a new formation known as the Reformed Ex-Agitators of the Niger Delta (REND), which is now leading a democratic process in determining the outcome of the election,” he said in a statement issued in Yenagoa.
“If by next week the federal government does not hands off from the Bayelsa poll by allowing the people to freely choose their leader but still interfering through the observed various guises and deception, then we would have no option than to return to the creeks to press for our rights as patriotic citizens being unduly oppressed and dehumanized all in the name of politics. “We have said it before that President Buhari is executing an anti-Ijaw agenda and his aim is to steal our God-given resources to rebuild the north destroyed by Boko Haram.
That is why he is hell-bent on manipulating the electoral process in Bayelsa State and hand it over to the APC. “They are exploiting Sylva’s greed and desperation for power and therefore using him to carry out their evil agenda. But we want them to know that this country will go up in flames if they try it. “Boko Haram will be a child’s play if President Buhari and his APC think they can upturn the people’s mandate. It would be a grave injustice which can never stand. We are Ijaw people and we have never been conquered.