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IYC president, spokesman disagree over protests against NDDC

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Godswill Akpabio

Izon Egberi congratulates Okaba, advises on the development

Efforts by the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) to ensure that the Federal Government inaugurates a substantive board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) may have suffered a setback as the executives are divided over the matter.

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While the faction led by National President, Peter Igbifa, has vowed to continue the protests until their demands were met, that of the National Deputy President, Saviour Olali and its Spokesman, Ebilade Ekerefe, backed suspension of the protest.

A statement issued by Olali and Ekerefe revealed that the resolve to suspend the protest was reached at a meeting with critical stakeholders in the region.

The statement warned Ijaw youths to discountenance the statement attributed to Igbifa, which defied the decision of the Ijaw elders and youths that the #OccupyNigerDelta protest would continue on Monday (today) in all the states of the Niger Delta region.

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But in a swift reaction, organisers of the Occupy Niger Delta Protest (ONDP) condemned Ekerefe for attempting to betray the protest against Federal Government’s refusal to name a substantive board for the NDDC.

Coordinator of ONDP, Kennedy Olorogun, said Ekerefe’s statement in which he asked protesters to stop the action at 5:00 p.m. on Friday, May 28, 2021, was unfortunate, irresponsible and disappointing.

Olorogun said Ekerefe was working hard to justify the agreement he and other executives of the IYC reached “with their paymaster in their recent Abuja outing against the collective interests and decision of the Niger Delta people.”

He said Ekerefe lacked the powers to suspend the protest, adding that Igbifa was the one empowered to exercise such mandate and commended youths in Rivers, Bayelsa, Akwa Ibom and Delta states for being resolute in the ongoing protest.

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MEANWHILE, the Izon Egberi Think Tank of Ijaw professionals has urged the President of the Ijaw National Congress (INC), Prof. Benjamin Okaba and the National Executive Council (NEC) to quickly mobilise Ijaw professionals in Nigeria and the Diaspora to respond to the huge development challenges facing the ethnic nationality.

The group stated this in a congratulatory message to Okaba and NEC of the INC, which was inaugurated recently in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.

In the statement issued by President of Izon Egberi worldwide, Rowland Ekperi and Secretary, Ebiapko Kakandar, the group said: “We demand that work should commence immediately, as time equals survival in this time of our history and as a people, we understand that no leadership can succeed without the people’s support and participation.

The Izon Egberi, a Think Tank devoted to providing solutions to enhance the growth and development of the Ijaw nation, assure you of our support. Call on us and other productive Ijaw organisations, home and abroad for our partnership and support whenever the need arises,” the statement reads.

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