The leadership of the Ijaw Youths Council (IYC), has rejected an appeal by its parent body, the Ijaw National Congress (INC) to suspend its mass action over the refusal of the Federal Government to inaugurate a substantive board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
President of the IYC worldwide, Comrade Peter Igbifa, commended the INC for its intervention but said the youths would continue with the protest pending the inauguration of the NDDC.
While insisting that there was no going back on the protest, Igbifa noted that the IYC had given the federal government and the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, enough time to address the injustice and unfairness in the management of the NDDC.
The IYC President called on all the youths to remain resolute, focused and committed in their agitation for a board that would drive the development of the region and bring about sustained peace. He said:
“The only thing that will stop further protest is the immediate inauguration of the NDDC board. In the absence of the board, our protest continues. Our elders have tried and we appreciate their intervention.
“But we appeal to them to prevail on Akpabio and the Federal Government to quickly inaugurate this board. Our agitation is for justice, equity and fairness. Nobody should tell us that it is the forensic audit that is delaying the inauguration of the board. It is a big lie”. The INC had, after a meeting in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, called for the suspension of the current and further planned mass actions by the IYC and other Niger Delta agitators, including former warlord, High Chief Government Ekpemupolo alias Tompolo. The apex Ijaw body had said that its appeal was to enable it to interface with critical stakeholders to avert renewed hostilities in the region.