Ijaw Youths from the nine states of the Niger Delta region have vowed to proceed with its planned protest and shutdown of the headquarters of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) located in Port Harcourt, Rivers State over the failure of the federal government to address issues of wrongful appointment of a sole administrator for the commission.
The Ijaw Youths under the umbrella of the Ijaw Youths Council (IYC) worldwide also faulted the report credited to its embattled President, Peter Timothy Igbifa on the allege reversal of the planned protest and shut down, describing Igbifa position as frivolous as he is still on two months suspension from his office as President of the council.
The Ijaw youth leaders represented by Comrade Tobin James (Chairman, Eastern Zone), Chief Frank Akiefa, (Chairman Western zone), Comrade Clever Osuma Inodu, (Chairman Central zone) and Chief Diplomat Adam Ogomugo Marbo (Chairman Abuja Chapter), in a statement in Yenagoa, declared that the planned protest and shut down of the NDDC headquarters is an action against the actions of President Muhammadu Buhari for refusing to set up a board for the commission as provided for in the act establishing the NDDC board and targeted at under-developing the region.
The Ijaw Youth leaders in a joint statement, said despite the unfounded statement credited to Comr. Peter Timothy Igbifa, the plan to shutdown NDDC headquarters is in top gear by all structures of the Ijaw Youth council, ”Peter Timothy Igbifa never supported the agitations of a substantive board for NDDC and so doesn’t have any right to halt or call for the stoppage of the protest.
“The only reason that will stop the protest is for President Muahammadu Buhari to do the right thing by appointing the substantive board in NDDC that will carry out its functions properly. We are calling on every well-meaning Ijaw youths not to be distracted by the statement of Peter Timothy Igbifa which does not reflect the decision of council”.
Contacted on the development, the National Spokesman of the IYC, Comrade Ebilade Ekerefe confirmed the development, insisting that the decision of the Ijaw Youths Zonal leaders to embark on a protest and shut down the NDDC headquarters is legitimate and those calling for the cancellation of the protest are enemies of the region.
Ebilade reiterated that the protest is born out of genuine desires of the Ijaw youths to demand for a substantive board that will facilitate development in the Niger Delta region.
”It is a people’s driven and people’s oriented protest that cannot be cancelled by anybody who has never been a part of the ongoing protests in the region. The protest will go on according to plans as all structures of council hace been fully notified for the show down and they are all ready and waiting for the signal.
“Our intelligence unit have gathered that there is a grand plan to use security to intimidate Ijaw youths during the protest. We warn that any attempt to do that will be catastrophic as rights to protest is protected by law.
“Finally, for those who have been contracted to infiltrate us in order to cause havoc and chaos, be rest assured that we shall fish you out and deal with you decisively.” Comr. Ebilade concluded.