Ijaw groups protest against alleged harassment of Jonathan, wife
Official and business activities were disrupted in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State yesterday as Ijaw groups protested against what they termed “the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) harassment of former President Goodluck Jonathan and his wife, Dame Patience.”
The youths were led by the President of Ijaw Youths Congress (IYC), Udengs Eradiri, President of Ogbia Brotherhood Youth Wing, Dr. Gilbert Langour and Women Leader of Ogbia Brotherhood Women Wing, Unity Ototo.
The protesters brandished placards with various inscriptions like: “EFCC, leave Patience Jonathan alone,” “EFCC stop harassing Jonathan,” “EFCC, follow due process,” “EFCC obey rule of law” “ Give us jobs not soldiers,” “Unfreeze Jonathan’s account,” “EFCC, return Bayelsa funds,” “We need true federalism,” “deploy bulldozers, not armoured tanks.”
Eradiri, who spoke with newsmen, said the protest became necessary since the harassment of the Jonathans, through the media trial of his wife.
Eradiri said: “We want to show to the world how peaceful the people of the Niger Delta are, especially the Ijaws. You know we are the largest ethnic group in the Niger Delta and the fourth largest in the country. Usually, we are painted in a negative light, but today we have proved to the world that we are peaceful.
“We want to call on President Buhari to respect the former first family. At least former President Jonathan has shown he is a man of peace. He handed over, without recourse to the courts.
“The president should focus on governance and stop vilifying the former first family of the Niger Delta. Look at Nigeria, we are in recession today economically, this is as a result of the conduct of the EFCC towards the Maritime University.
“Why is this government victimising Dr. Jonathan? Patience Jonathan is not only a first lady, she has been the wife of a former deputy governor, governor, vice president and president. Are you expecting her to be a poor woman?”
Eradiri said: “The other issue affecting us is the sale of national assets. We are not against the sale but what we are saying is that if you are selling the NLNG in Bonny, then the Bonny people must be given the chance of first refusal to buy the assets.”