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A group in the Niger Delta, the Watchdog for Progressive Ijaw (WPI) has queried the sudden twist by the Spokesperson of the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) Worldwide, Ebilade Eketefe to call off the planned protest to shut down the headquarters of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) following the appointment of a sole administrator for the commission.

The WPI in a statement issued by its Coordinator, Lambart Ototo and made available to newsmen said ordinarily they would have ignored Ekerefe because of penchant to work at cross purpose with the ideals, mision and vision of the IYC leadership but are however constrained to reply him as a result of his glaring evidence of insubordination and questionable tendencies that negates the position he occupies in IYC.

Ototo further queried the hasty manner Ekerefe took the decision to cancel the protest without waiting for a stakeholders’ meeting as proposed by the council and publicised by the IYC President, Deacon Peter Timothy Igbifa, insisting that the proposed meeting was to take a collective decision on the NDDC and other Niger Delta interventionist agencies and programmes with a view to formulate a workable action plan and strategies needed to push for the common interest of the Ijaws in these establishments. Ototo said:

“It is curious and suspicious that Ekerefe, who threw all caution to the wind with uncommon obsession for protest against the NDDC despite superior arguments against it could suddenly wake up to cancel the protest without allowing the IYC leadership and stakeholders to meet.

” We expected Ekerefe to make his points at the proposed meeting and convince stakeholders that protest, which he earlier insisted must hold, is the best action  plan for the IYC. But he did not only chew his words, he again issued another lone statement without the knowledge of the council as though he is the leader of IYC. “

What has really changed? Could it be true that some dollars exchanged hands and compelled Ekerefe to swallow his vomit by betraying a course he so much believed in?

We know when political sponsorship pushed Ekerefe to issue multiple statements as directed by his pay masters. God forbid. ” Whatever Ekerefe is relying on now to cancel his protest was manifest at the time he ignored all entreaties to issue repeated statements advocating protest.

In fact, the allegations that he collected dollars to cancel his proposed mother-of-all protest are rife and we want him to come publicly and deny it.

“We are by this statement warning Ekerefe for the umpteenth time to stop issuing personal statements in the name of IYC. IYC spokesperson has a duty to always consult his council especially the President of the Council before going public with any statement. Anything contrary to this conventional practice is an aberration and an abomination.

” The truth remains that the proposed meeting of IYC stakeholders has not held and no position on the council’s action plan and strategies has been taken. The proclamation by IYC President on stakeholders’ meeting remains valid. It is only the meeting, not Ekerefe that can decide the way forward for IYC, the WPI Coordinator concluded.”

Ototo who lauded the decision of the council’s President, Deacon Timothy Igbifa, to run an all-inclusive IYC and to give everybody a voice, however warned that Ekerefe is on his own and cannot speak for the council until he aligns himself with the conventional due process in the IYC.