#EndSARS: IYC frowns at mob attack on its President in Bayelsa

The leadership of Ijaw Youths Council (IYC) Worldwide has frowned at the spontaneous attack of its national president, Peter Igbifa, by angry youths protesting against police brutality on Saturday in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital, on Saturday, describing the act as sacrilegious and anti-Ijaw nation.

Igbifa, who was said to be at the State Government House to visit the Governor Douye Diri met a crowd of protesters who started throwing sachet water at him for allegedly failing to mobilize Ijaw youths from the nine states of the region for the ongoing protest against Police brutality in the country.

However, the bewildered IYC President who hails from Rivers State was eventually guarded out of the crowd by some bodyguards and few Ijaw youths unharmed as the protesters continued to throw sachet water on him.

Reacting to the development, the spokesman of the IYC, Comrade Ebilade Ekerefe, described the action of the angry protesters as a sacrilege, saying the “IYC is a movement that is founded on principles with a clear mandate and therefore, cannot jump into the arena of sociopolitical struggles without studying the unfolding developments and the positive impact such struggles will bring to the table for our people.

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“It is against this background we share solidarity with the bravery and the undying spirits of the Nigerian youths whom have suffered directly in the hands of police brutality, oppression and intimidation. And as council, we’ve always come to the rescue of innocent Ijaw youths whom have been severally detained unjustly by the police when called upon.

“Our people should know that as the #EndSARS protest is going on, every region is strategizing and ours cannot be different. As council, we consider the #EndSARS protest a metaphor for a restructured Nigeria. A Nigeria where the principles of true federalism and resource control will be total and not selective as we’ve witnessed in the case of Zamfara gold.

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“A Nigeria where there will be no military invasion to our communities in the guise of looking for criminals where there’s none. A country where there will be equitable distribution of political power. A country where the federal government will not use obnoxious laws and legislations to take over all what is rightfully ours like they did in the land use act and the proposed anti-people water resource bill.

“A country where our oil and gas will not become a curse to our people but a blessing. A country where our environment and ecosystem that our people largely depend on for survival will not be degraded as a result of oil spillage and gas flaring which has cut short the life expectancy rate of our people. A country where there will be religious tolerance, peace and stability. That is what #EndSARS means to the Niger Delta people.

“As a leadership, we may not have gotten it right completely, but I think we are doing our best to consulting with leaders from the region to come up with a program that will serve the purpose of our people in this struggle.

“While these steps are going on, some unguarded protesters amongst genuine ones attacked the president of IYC. This is sacrilegious and unacceptable. The president of the IYC is the symbol of the Ijaw struggle and the office should be revered and respected by all. We can’t treat institutions that have fought for our survival and still fighting with so much disdain and contempt if we are fighting for our regional interest.”

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