Ijaw Youth Council suspends protest

From Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa

The Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) has suspended its ongoing protest against the federal government’s refusal to constitute the board of directors of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).

The aggrieved members of the organization started demonstrations in the Niger Delta on Friday (May 28th) to force the federal government to constitute the board of directors.

The IYC, in a statement by its national vice-president, Savior Olali, and its spokesperson, Ekerefe Ebilade, while commending members of the organization for complying with its directive on the protest, however called for the protest to be suspended after consultation with other stakeholders, in particular the Ijaw National Congress (INC).

He implored all his members in the various clans to await further directives.

According to investigations, the suspension should allow for wider consultation.

The statement reads in part:

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“The general public will recall that the IYC gave the federal government a 30-day ultimatum to reconstitute the board of directors of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) or face the risk of total closure of the operations of the government in the Niger Delta, including the closure of the NDDC headquarters in Port Harcourt and their state offices in the Niger Delta.

“When this ultimatum expired, the planned demonstration was effectively carried out across the region. The IYC leadership is satisfied with the level of compliance of its members in all clans and areas in the region.

After a thorough review of the progress made to date and in consultation with critical stakeholders across the Ijaw Nation and in particular with the leadership of the National Ijaw Congress (INC), the Council hereby orders the suspension of the long 3-day event with effect from Friday 28 May.

“Council leadership at the Zone Chapter and Clan level is hereby instructed to act accordingly and await further guidance on the way forward. “