Ahead of the January 9 supplementary governorship election in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of and 101 other polling units in Bayelsa State, the state police command has summoned ex-Niger Delta militant leaders and supporters of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to a meeting tomorrow in Yenagoa, the state capital.
The invitation of only ex-militant leaders sympathetic to the APC cause is reportedly generating ripples in the camp of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), whose supporters were left in the lurch.
The police in a copy of the invitation letter dated December 31, 2015 and sent to one of the ex-Niger Delta agitator, Eris Paul, popularly known as Ogunboss, asked the former militants to appear on Monday, January 4.
The meeting was called by the police command through the office of the State Intelligence Bureau led by one Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Ondo Gbekumo.
The letter stressed that attendance to the meeting is mandatory.
It said: “The attendance to the meeting by ex-militant leaders is mandatory as issues bothering on threat to security on the January 9th election will be discussed”.
Also invited to the meeting is General Africa, who openly canvassed support for President Muhammadu Buhari in the 2015 Presidential election.
But the summoned ex-militant leaders have vowed not to attend the meeting, accusing the Bayelsa Police Command of showing bias towards the PDP.
They called for the overhaul of the present structure of the state police command, claiming that it currently lacks the discipline to ensure a free and fair election in Southern Ijaw.
They also alleged that Gbekumo, who signed the invitation letter, is an apologist and relation of the PDP candidate and incumbent Governor Seriake Dickson.
One of the invitees, Ogunboss, fumed: When did we become members of the state security agencies to be invited to security meeting? Nothing annoys me so much as receiving the invitation from a relative of Governor Seriake, Ondo Gbekumo”.
Confirming the invitation letter to the ex-militant leaders, the Bayelsa Police Command spokesman, DSP Astimin Butswat, said as stakeholders, they were formally invited to contribute to a violence-free election in SILGA.
“We have invited them for discussions. We are exploring every medium available to ensure a hitch free election”, DSP Butswat said.