The Rivers Government has set up a committee to identify those killed during the Presidential and National Assembly elections in Abonnema, Akuku-Toru Local Government Area.
The Government’s decision was conveyed in a statement on Wednesday in Port Harcourt by Mr Simeon Nwakaudu, the Special Assistant on Electronic Media to Gov. Nyesom Wike of Rivers.
According to the statement, the Committee has the responsibility of identifying the soldiers who died during the Presidential and National Assembly elections and on March 2.
It also stated that “the high-powered committee is headed by the State Deputy Governor, Dr Ipalibo Harry Banigo’’.
It stated that the Governor, who spoke at a memorial service at St Paul’s Nyemoni Church in honour of Abonnema people and soldiers who died on Feb. 23 and March 2, said that the committee would also identify the bereaved families.
Wike said: “A committee headed by the Deputy Governor will identify those who died and their families. Government will give them necessary assistance.
“The committee will also identify damaged property affected by the election crisis, so that the Rivers State Government will offer the required assistance for their repair.’’
The governor said that Ipalibo would also lead a high-profile delegation to the Nigerian Army to commiserate with them on the death of their personnel during the elections and on March 2 at Abonnema.
The governor, who commiserated with the bereaved families in Abonnema and the families of the soldiers who died during the elections, prayed God to comfort them.
According to the statement, Wike condemns politicians who promote political violence, saying that they should be compelled to present their children to execute political violence.
“I appeal to politicians to understand that power comes from God. Those who foment trouble should be asked to bring their grown up children to execute political violence.
“God has done it for Abonnema and Rivers State. We will have peace. I urge all leaders to work with the Traditional Council to bring peace.
“Take all necessary measures for peace to reign. The Rivers State Government will support you,’’ it stated.
Governor Wike urged Rivers people not to be provoked, in spite of what he called antics of those determined to cause crisis during the Governorship and State Assembly elections.
The Governor appealed to security agencies not to allow politicians to use them to cause violence or disrupt voting on Saturday
He also berated the Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Amaechi, for describing the peaceful town of Abonnema as the hideout of militants.
The Amanyanabo of Abonnema, King Disrael Bob-Manuel, said that the Akuku-Toru Local Government Traditional Council got intelligence that there might be violence during Presidential and National Assembly elections and took measures to forestall it.
He said one of the major political parties refused to sign the peace accord.
He said ahead of the Governorship and State Assembly elections, the Council would hold another peace meeting on Thursday where an accord will be signed.
The monarch said any political party that failed to sign would be held responsible should violence break out.
The statement added that the Abonnema people learnt the bitter lesson and would ensure that the ugly incident did not happen again.
Prayers were said to seek God’s protection for Akuku-Toru Local Government Area and Rivers during the Governorship and State Assembly elections.
Violence broke out in Abonnema during the Presidential and National Assembly elections, leading to several deaths and the disruption of the elections.