By Babatunde Adewale
Over 500 victims of the 2011 election violence on Tuesday staged a peaceful protest in Gombe over Federal Government’s abandonment four years after the incident.
The protesters who carried placards with different inscriptions that alleged abandonment by the Government said they felt betrayed for voting the PDP Government of President Jonathan and then suffering untold hardship afterwards.
Speaking through the spokesman of the protesters, Julius Joseph Bajoga JP said the victims in Gombe have been disappointed by the attitude of the PDP led Federal Government after voting for it and loosing lives of their beloved ones including property worth millions of naira.
He said out of the fourteen states affected, nine states have been compensated two years back and recently Kaduna have been compensated while Gombe has been abandoned to their fate after loosing lives and property worth millions of naira during the violence that rocked some states of the federation after the 2011 elections.
According to him, “We have done all that we are supposed to do, we went to our Governor and discussed with him and he said we should exercise more patience, that he has been talking about the money with Mr. President and approval given but that up till now the money has not been released”.
He stated further that “another election is barely 28 days from now, we are all Nigerians and just like those that have been compensated, and we also need to be compensated too. We voted President Jonathan and he got the required votes from Gombe that he needed to be elected in 2011, he won the election but we lost because we are terribly suffering now”.
He said all of them have been suffering untold hardship, “many children have been made orphans, some women made widows, many children have been deprived of going to school, my house was completely burnt down with two vehicles in it at Bajoga”.
Another victim, Mrs. Rhoda Lewa who became a widow during the incident said “our four bedroom apartment was raised down during the violence and up till now no one has come up to tell us anything”.
The protesters said tension is rising high and until payment is made before the next election, they cannot promise anybody their votes, not even Jonathan who utterly betrayed them.