The President, Ijaw Youths Council (IYC) Worldwide, Peter Timothy Igbifa, has reiterated the position of his council to abstain from any politically-motivated protests against the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) capable of destabilising the Niger Delta region.
Igbifa, who spoke in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, urged parents to monitor the activities of their children and stop them from engaging in any demonstration especially the one targeting the occupation of NDDC headquarters using the name of the IYC.
He said intelligence available to him indicated that such demonstration would lead to violence and other unpleasant consequences.
He insisted that his council had not sanctioned protest as a means of resolving the issues in the NDDC adding that his leadership would not allow anybody to use the name of the IYC to interrupt the relative peace in the region.
“Like I said earlier, the IYC under my leadership has scheduled a meeting to discuss issues affecting us and formulate a new approach to our agitation because continuous protest cannot and has not changed anything.
“Therefore, the IYC under my watch will not embark on any protest whatsoever in NDDC or other agencies because that will be playing to the gallery without solving the main issues on ground”, he said.
Igbifa, also commended Bayelsa State Government, Senator Douye Diri, and security agencies for their apt intervention in foiling an emerging disaster in Peremabiri the hometown of a repentant militant leader, Paul Eris, aka Ogunboss, in Bayelsa.
He said: “Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, responded like a leader and took a decision that is bringing calm to the traumatised community, which has been under siege by unknown gunmen.
“We appeal to all the warring youths and factions in Peremabiri to drop their arms and embrace peace because there is no alternative to peaceful coexistence”.
Igbifa said his council would not tolerate sycophancy and hypocrisy in the handling of issues affecting the Ijaw people.
He called on politicians involved in instigating the youths to cause chaos for their selfish gains to desist forthwith or risk being named and shamed by the IYC.
Speaking on the issue of revenue generation, Igbifa called on the International Oil Companies (IOCs) to stop the trend of exploring and exploiting crude oil in the Niger Delta without paying taxes to the states in the region.
He said it was barbaric and immoral for the IOCs to repatriate taxes to their countries of origin and other states in the country while ignoring the victims of their activities in the Niger Delta.
He said it was high time all IOCs operating in the region relocated to the Niger Delta to enable them fulfill all their financial obligations to the region.
He said the era of using insecurity as the reason for siting headquarters of IOCs outside the region was over insisting that his leadership and the governors in the region had continued to maintain peace and stability in the Niger Delta.
He said: “I hereby call on Niger Delta National Assembly members, ministers, governors and other relevant stakeholders to come together on a common front to discuss critical issues affecting the region, proffer solutions and chart the way forward. We must first solve our problems as a region and cement our bond of unity”.