Group accuses Akpabio, NDDC boss of abducting IYC president
The Ijaw People’s Development Initiative (IPDI) has accused Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio and Interim Administrator of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Effiong Akwa, of being behind the abduction of Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) President, Peter Igbifa.
It warned that if the IYC president was not released unconditionally, it would mobilise its members to shut down NDDC’s headquarters in Port Harcourt, Rivers State immediately.
In a statement issued by its National Secretary, Emma Keneware, the group noted that Igbifa’s abductors should release him within 24 hours to avoid collateral damage that would be done to the country’s oil and gas sector.
IPDI averred that the alleged abduction of Igbifa had vindicated the Ijaw youths’ claims of financial misappropriation in the NDDC, stressing there would be total shut down of the country’s oil sector and NDDC headquarters if Igbifa was not released in the next 24 hours.
It added that the abduction of the IYC president was aimed at truncating the proposed protest of the Ijaw youths over the delay in inaugurating a substantive board for the NDDC.
The group maintained that in spite of Igbifa’s abduction, the proposed protest would hold, maintaining that he was abducted a few hours to the expiration of 30 days ultimatum given to President Muhammadu Buhari to appoint a substantive board of the NDDC.
The IYC president was reportedly kidnapped on the Omagwa-Port Harcourt International Airport Road in Rivers State yesterday.
Igbifa had issued the notice on April 26, 2021 and followed it up with a warning on May 17, 2021 asking all multinational oil companies operating in the Niger Delta region to evacuate their workers and shut down their oil platforms before the expiration of the ultimatum May 26, 2021 (today) at midnight.
He had stated that it was important for oil workers to leave the region, as Ijaw youths would not guarantee their safety, adding, however, that no gunshots would be fired.
National spokesman of the IYC, Ebilade Ekerefe, who confirmed the incident, however, stated that Igbifa was missing, but that he would not describe his ordeal as abduction.
“Well, the IYC president is missing. That is what I can say. I can’t say he is kidnapped. He is missing. His two phones numbers are switched off. His last whereabouts was along the Omagwa-Port Harcourt Airport road, while on his way to join us for a meeting in Abuja.
“The incident is unfortunate. We are not suspecting any quarters, but the IYC will meet to review our strategy and come up with a position.”
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