Following shift of the general election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), one of the ex-militant leaders, Tam Odogwu, has called on ex-militants in the Niger Delta to remain calm.
Odogwu said the shift of the election was in the best interest of all Nigerians and pertinent following security challenges in different part of the nation.
Odogwu said: ?We the ex-militants were shocked by the shift of the general elections earlier scheduled for February 14 and 28 to March 28 and April 11.
?Some of us were agitated over the postponement by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
?Since the announcement was made by INEC boss, Prof. Attahiru Jega, on shifting the polls there have been widespread reactions within and outside the country.
?I want to call on Nigerians, particularly youths and elders in the Niger Delta region to remain calm. I see it as a welcomed decision by INEC at this time there are a lot of tension and pre-election violence in some parts of the country.?
Odogwu who is also the Third Phase Ex-militants? national leader commended the wisdom and decision of INEC?s leadership to shift the election six weeks ahead.
?Therefore INEC?s decision should be welcomed because it will give INEC enough time to distribute the PVC’s in order not to disenfranchise any eligible voter and as well prepare to conduct a credibly free and fair election for the country.
?Also we should understand that a Nigerian life is valuable than any politician?s ambition. People are criticising INEC?s explanation on security in the north-east, which is 14 local government areas yet to be liberated and promised by the military to wipe out the insurgents occupying those places to pave way for smooth conduct of the election,? Odogwu stated.
However, Odogwu, promised support and cooperation of youth in the Niger Delta with security agencies and expressed optimism that there would not be violence at the March 28 and April 11 elections in the region.
?We the youth in the Niger Delta can assure our support and cooperation with security agents at the March 28 and April 11 general elections, because we believe in peaceful and credibly conducted elections.
?And we advise the security agents and INEC officials, including the electorates to properly conduct themselves before, during and after the elections,? he added.
Meanwhile, Odogwu who contested with the incumbent member representing Burutu South Constituency II, at the Delta State House of Assembly, Hon Kennedy Daubiri, whom he lost to at primary election conducted by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 2014, promised to work with the winner at the April polls as Burutu PDP reconciliation team headed by Mr. Egbese paid him a visit.
The visit was to woo the support of Odogwu, whom the team also appreciated his unalloyed loyalty to the party despite his loss at the party’s primary election.
They urged him to mobilise youth to vote massively for President Goodluck Jonathan, governorship candidate of the party, Sen Ifeanyi Okowa, Senatorial candidate, Delta South, Sen James Manager, and House of representative candidate, Hon. Julius Pondi.
In his response Odogwu, appreciated the move initiated by the Burutu PDP, and said it was laudable and well timed.
He also assured them his support for all PDP candidates contesting at all levels in Delta State and to work for their victory at the polls.