By Samuel Oyadongha, Yenagoa
Ijaw youths from the states of the Niger Delta region have vowed to proceed with their 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 the issue of wrongful appointment of a sole administrator for the commission.
The youths under the aegis of Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) worldwide faulted the report credited to its embattled President, Peter Igbifa on the alleged reversal of the planned protest and shut down, describing it as “frivolous.”
The Ijaw youths represented by Comrade Tobin James (Chairman, Eastern Zone), Chief Frank Akiefa, (Chairman Western zone), Comrade Clever Inodu, (Chairman Central zone) and Chief Diplomat Adam Ogomugo Marbo (Chairman Abuja Chapter), in a joint statement in Yenagoa, declared that the planned protest and shut down of the NDDC headquarters is an action against President Muhammadu Buhari refusal to set up a board for the commission as provided for in the Act establishing the NDDC board.
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They said despite the unfounded statement credited to Igbifa, the plan to shutdown NDDC headquarters is in top gear by all structures of the Ijaw Youth Council, ”Peter Igbifa never supported the agitation 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 Muhammadu Buhari to do the right thing by appointing the substantive board in NDDC that will carry out its functions properly.
“We are calling on all well-meaning Ijaw youths not to be distracted by the statement of 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 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 the genuine desire of the Ijaw youths to demand a substantive board that will facilitate development in the Niger Delta region.
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“It is a people-driven and people-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 plan as all structures of Council have been fully notified for the showdown and they are all ready and waiting for the signal.
“Our intelligence unit has 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 other to course havoc and chaos, be rest assured that we shall fish you out and deal with you decisively,” Ebilade said.
Vanguard News Nigeria
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