There was tension in Delta and Bayelsa and Delta states, yesterday, as Ijaw youths from both states protest to the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) over the abduction of National President of the Ijaw Youths Council (IYC), Peter Igbifa.
Igbifa was reportedly abducted on Tuesday in Port Harcourt, Rivers States by unidentified gunmen, a few hours before the expiration of the 30-day ultimatum it issued to President Muhammadu Buhari to name a substantive board for the NDDC.
The IYC Worldwide and leaders of other ethnic nationalities in the Niger Delta had on April 25, 2021 given a 30-day ultimatum to the to the presidency to appoint a substantive board for be NDDC or face their fury.
They insisted on the desolation of the Interim Management Board, headed by a Sole Administrator, Effiong Akwa and appoint a substantive board, failing which they would shut down all oil installations in the region and cripple the country’s economy at the expiration of the ultimatum.
The protest, which was staged at the NDDC state offices along the Edjeba Road, Warri, Delta State and Yenezue-Gene area of Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, disrupted vehicular and business activities for several hours.
Carrying placards with inscriptions as: Restructure Nigeria Now; IOCs Must Not Remit $1.6b To NDDC Now; We seek Justice In NDDC and FG Should Appoint Substantive Board For NDDC Now, they accused President Muhammadu Buhari of state-sponsored abduction of Igbifa.x
They warned that the next protest on the issues and development concerns of the region would be a total and mass action. In a communiqué issued at the end of an emergency meeting and signed by its Deputy President, Savior Olali, National Spokesman, Ebilade Ekerefe and others the group alleged that the presidency sponsored Igbifa’s abduction.
“Although his abduction came to us as a shock and provocative, we have since discovered that the Federal Government sponsored and executed the action. ”
“He and other National Executive members of IYC were invited to Abuja for a meeting with the Interim Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), Col. Milland Dixion Dikio (rtd.), before armed men with standard IWI Tavor rifles and Uzi sub-machine guns, abducted him.
The IYC condemned the abduction and urged the Federal Government to ensure that he was released unconditionally. MEANWHILE, Ijaw youths also blocked the Mbiama-axis of the East West road in protest against Federal Government’s refusal to inaugurate a substantive board of the NDDC.The Guardian learnt that the youths shut down the Bayelsa State office of the NDDC, before proceeding to Mbiama.