… blocks East-West road
ODAHIEKWU OGUNDE, Yenagoa
In fulfilment of its promise to stage a protest to demand the appointment of a substantive board for the Niger Delta Development Commission, the Ijaw Youth Council Worldwide has begun the process of occupying the Niger Delta region.
In Bayelsa State, the Ijaw youths shut down the Bayelsa office of the NDDC and equally barricaded the Mbiama section of the East-West road, a major gateway linking the South-South region to other parts of the country, for a ‘mother-of-all-protests’ that caused gridlock for several hours.
A massive crowd of IYC members, with IYC flags, was said to have occupied the ever-busy East-West road causing serious traffic jams with motorists and commuters stranded for hours.
The Yenagoa office of the NDDC, which has been shut down, has the IYC flag hung on the gate.
The IYC had given a 30-day ultimatum, which expired on Tuesday, May 25, for the Federal Government and the Ministry of the Niger Delta Affairs to constitute the board or risk total shutdown of the Niger Delta.
The IYC National President, Peter Timothy Igbifa, was said to have been kidnapped by masked gunmen on Tuesday, ostensibly in an attempt to foil today’s protest.
Igbifa was on his way to the Port Harcourt International Airport on Tuesday to board a flight to Abuja for a meeting when the gunmen blocked his vehicle and whisked him away to an unknown destination.
But the resilient youths mobilized themselves and still made good their threat of shutting down the region until the needful was done concerning the NDDC.
First, they shut down the Niger Delta Development Commissions office in Yenagoa while the East-West road was blocked.
The youths are asking for the constitution of a substantive board of the Niger Delta Development Commission, instead of a sole administrator running it as a one-man show.
The IYC also expressed displeasure with the administration of the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio and has therefore asked for his immediate resignation.