BY TIMOTHY AGBOR, OSOGBO
The Ijaw Youth Council has threatened resurgence of violence in most areas of Rivers State, especially the waterfronts, if Farah Dagogo, a federal lawmaker representing Degema/Bonny in the House of Representatives, is not released unconditionally.
Dagogo was reportedly arrested on Wike’s order for allegedly disrupting the screening of governorship aspirants of the People’s Democratic Party in Port Harcourt.
He was said to have been arrested alongside others and ordered to be remanded in police custody by a Magistrate’s Court in the state.
The Rivers State governor had earlier declared Dagogo wanted “for hiring cultists to attack PDP Secretariat in Port Harcourt.”
After the expiration of a 48-hour ultimatum issued to Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State to order the release of the lawmaker by the Ijaw National Congress, Dagogo was still in detention.
But speaking on a programme monitored by our correspondent, the spokesman of IYC, Ebilade Ekerefe, said the Police had refused to release Dagogo even after meeting the bail conditions granted him by the court.
Ekerefe said the incarceration of Dagogo may push “boys” to return to creeks and other waterfronts for violence stressing that “the political persecution of Fara Dagogo is to alienate the Ijaw Nation from politics in Rivers State.”
He accused the Commissioner of Police in Rivers State of unprofessionalism and being used by Governor Wike to persecute the lawmaker and called on the Inspector-General of Police, Alkali Baba Usman to call the CP to order.
The Ijaw Youth spokesperson also called on President Muhammadu Buhari and the National Assembly, especially the House of Representatives to ensure the “unconditional release of Dagogo.”
He said, “We are disappointed in the National Assembly, especially the House of Representatives for their continuous silence on the persecution of Dagogo.
They are afraid of the governor of Rivers State to speak the truth to power. If not, what will stop the House of Representatives, in a matter that concerns one of their members who has been in incarceration for over two weeks and there is no statement from the leadership. How can they treat this issue with triviality? So, why is he a member of the National Assembly? Is it because Fara Dagogo is an Ijaw man? We have seen steps the House of Representatives have taken in matters that are not even up to this issue in the past. So, why is this one different?
“It’s a moral burden on the National Assembly, especially the House of Representatives for them not to speak out in the moment of this crisis.
“It’s disappointing for the governor (Wike) to say thunder should fire Ijaw people. You (Wike) are disenfranchising a man who bought a form to contest the governorship of his state. Levelled allegations against him that he wanted to disrupt PDP screening. They said he carried arms. Where are the arms? So, people no longer have the right to carry out a peaceful demonstration, to express their concerns over any particular issue? So, why are we in democracy?
“All this is just to provoke our people to believe that we are not being taken seriously in this nation. Fara Dagogo should be granted bail based on the court order he had gotten. He has met all his bail conditions and there is no reason to keep him behind bars. Release Fara Dagogo unconditionally.
“The Speaker of the House of Representatives and members of the chamber should protect one of their own and show solidarity. The Ijaw people are beginning to feel that it’s a pattern to alienate Ijaw people in the political process in Rivers State. The Ijaw Nation is very angry and we are following events in Rivers State and if appropriate steps are not being taken especially by the Federal Government, under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari to look at what is going on in Rivers State very critically, I can tell you that there will be a resurgence of violence that we as Ijaw people may not agree with because we are already going into another round of elections,” he threatened.