A good governance advocate and senior citizen in Cross River State, Nandi Peter Bette has raised alarm over the tension, death threats and violence in the build-up to Saturday’s governorship and House of Assembly elections.
The clergyman cautioned against the suspected arming of youths in the Boki LGA of the state, allegedly to eliminate local leaders said to have been pencilled down by different political camps in the state.
In the space of days, two leading political parties in the state have paraded lists of key political dignitaries in Boki LGA said to have been pencilled down for elimination before the election date.
At a news conference yesterday, APC state chairman, Alphonsus Eba raised the alarm, accusing notable national figures in the state of arming the youths and fueling electoral violence.
On the other hand, the Chairman of the PDP in the state, Venatius Ikem whose country home and those of other dignitaries were vandalised and burnt, was vehement that hired thugs and supporters of APC were responsible.
In a statement titled ‘passionate appeal to Boki political actors and leaders’, Nandi Bette warned that all those fanning the embers of violence and bloodshed should desist else they will not know peace.
“The alarm of impending violence being raised by political camps in Boki over the forthcoming Governorship /House of Assembly elections scheduled for Saturday 11 March 2023, is as irritating, repulsive as they are shameful.
“With all the paraded portfolios held in this out-going administration by our sons and daughters, the local government area has benefited nothing positive over the years. Of the litany of Industries littered all over Cross River State, for instance, none is sited in Boki land. The much talked about East-West road is neither here nor there.
Rather youths are armed with sophisticated weapons to do the evil, selfish wishes of their masters and godfathers. This unfortunately has in the recent past disturbed peace in our communities through the loss of lives and properties.”
He expressed dismay that the only visible democratic dividend in Boki today is the “criminal degradation of the ecosystem brought about by the catastrophic destruction of the forest, a development which has further worsened the already poor conditions of roads.”
He advised that election should not and must not be a do-or-die affair, adding that there have been elections before this generation, and there will still be elections after this generation.
“Whoever causes disturbances leading to bloodshed in Boki during this elections will never know peace.”
He prayed the Almighty God to touch the hearts of the political actors, to help them desist from actions and inactions that may cause bloodshed.