Odahiekwu Ogunde, Yenagoa
There appears to be cracks in the umbrella body of Ijaw youths, Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) Worldwide, over the continuation of the ongoing #OccupyNigerDelta protest, which began last Wednesday.
IYC President, Timothy Igbifa, and some national executives allegedly fell apart after two days of the protest that led to the shutdown of the headquarters and state offices of the Niger Delta Development Commission in the region.
On Friday, the deputy president and national spokesman of the IYC, Saviour Olali and Ebilade Ekerefe, had announced the suspension of the protest with effect from last Friday.
They said the IYC took the decision after due consultations with stakeholders in the region, including the Ijaw National Congress.
But the IYC President issued another directive over the weekend insisting that the protest would continue across the states in the region as from Monday (this week).
However, in another statement by Saviour Olali and Ebilade Ekerefe on Sunday, the IYC warned against the resumption of the protest as directed by Igbifa.
They reiterated the council’s position on the suspension, saying that the IYC’s decision to suspend the three days protest was after due consultation with leaders, stakeholders from the region, especially from the INC.
In a statement jointly signed by the two leaders, the IYC said, “The decision by the Ijaw elders is still in place and any action against the collective decision of the elders and youths is an affront and disobedience to the Ijaw nation.
“The Ijaw youths leadership re-echoes the position of council, having consulted with leaders from the region. Our decision is based on what has transpired within this period of the protest.
There is the need for us to go back, call for a convention for us to review plans, strategy and take proper decision.
“Ijaw youths are warned to discountenance the statement attributed to the President, IYC, Peter Timothy Igbifa, in defiance of the collective decision of the Ijaw elders and youths that the ongoing #OccupyNigerDelta protest will continue on Monday across the states in the region.”