The Beyond Boundaries Legacy Leadership Initiative (BBLLI) has called on the United States government for assistance in the investigation of the killings that occurred on March 19 during the Rivers State rerun elections.

Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike

The organization called special attention to the murder of Samuel Dumebi Okonta, a National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) member who was assisting the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) during the Rivers State rerun elections.

In a letter addressed to the US Ambassador to Nigeria, James Entwhistle, BBLLI stated that Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike should be held responsible for the violence that afflicted the rerun elections.

“The unpleasant atmosphere created by stakeholders of the two major parties – the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) – particularly the series of unwarranted threats by Governor Wike, no doubt are at the root of the wanton killings and destruction of property,” said Anthony Onuya Yusuf, the BBLLI Director of Monitoring and Evaluation.

The group said that Mr. Wike should be investigated and tried for crimes against humanity before the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Netherlands. 

“We have it on record that Governor Wike, who is statutorily duty bound as the chief security officer to maintain peace, law and order in Rivers State, openly threatened violence and death to stakeholders before and during the rerun elections,” the statement said.

According to BBLLI, Mr. Wike reportedly told INEC workers to “write their will” before the election, as the PDP and its supporters would “decapitate anyone attempting to stand as an obstacle to their victory at the polls.”

The group claimed that Rivers State hired thugs to carry out the attacks.

BBLLI condemned the Nigerian and international communities’ silence in the wake of the violence, stating that the perpetrators must face the wrath of the law.

“We join other advocates of justice across the world in condemning the callousness and political opportunism exhibited by agents of the Rivers State government against humanity in the name of preventing the APC-led federal government from taking over power at the State level.”

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