Crisis Rocking the Ijaw Youth Council Worsens

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Segun James

The crisis rocking the leadership of the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) which led to a shoot-out within the premises of the Rhythm FM radio station owned by Senator Ben Murray Bruce has worsened as the new president of the council, Mr. Elvis Donkemezuo has called for the arrest, investigation and prosecution of former president Mr. Udengs Eradiri for the shooting.

But in a swift reaction, the spokesman for Eradiri faction, Mr. Eric Omare has dismissed the alleged involvement of the former president in the shooting at the station.

Donkemezuo in a statement said “it is with utmost sadness that I write to totally condemn the barbaric attack of two illustrious Executives of the Ijaw Youth Council Worldwide in the persons of Comrade Wisdom Oniekpar Ikuli and Comrade Mike Edounkumor by Mr. Udengs Eradiri and thugs loyal to the sacked IYC interim President at a Private Radio Station in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.
“It is appalling that Udengs and his thugs have decided to drag the name of this great Council in the mud in the pursuit of their parochial interest. It is saddening that Udengs and his co-travellers could not distinguish their private businesses and political affiliations from the Affairs of Council.

“We call on all Ijaw Youths and Elders everywhere to speak in one voice to tell Udengs and his bloodthirsty gang that contrary to his statement at Ekeki Police Station, in Yenagoa Bayelsa State which he called PDP Police Station in a PDP State, the IYC is not a wing of the People Democratic Party.

“We also unequivocally condemn the banditry displayed by Udengs and his gang on against staff and management of the station who were terrorised and looted by the heavily armed invaders pretending to be Ijaw youths. We repudiate their actions and want the public to know that their actions are not reflective of the ideals that Ijaw Youth Council is founded on.”

Donkemezuo lamented that “an IYC that promotes and encourages the attack, looting and destruction of lives and property as has been the unfortunate reality under the Udengs days is a far cry from what we inherited from the pioneers of the Niger Delta struggle like Elder K.T Ogoriba, Dr. Felix Otuodelo, late Oronto Douglas, Patterson Ogon.”

The youth president therefore called on the “Federal Government and indeed the security agencies to arrest, investigate and prosecute Udengs Eradiri for the attempted murder of our comrades. Also, the four policemen moving about with Udengs must be investigated.”
But in his reaction, the spokesman for Eradiri, Eric Omare said the called for the arrest and prosecution of Eradiri and others “in connection with the shootout is malicious, unprofessional, misleading and deliberately done to mislead the public.”
He said at no time did the IYC called for the arrest of Eradiri whom he insisted is still the president of the council.

“The IYC never at any point in time called for the arrest of its President, Udengs Eradiri and others and there is no basis whatsoever to do so. The President of the IYC, Udengs Eradiri was never involved in any shootout at Yenagoa on Thursday, the 23rd of June, 2016 contrary to reports.

For the record, President of the IYC, Udengs Eradiri in the early hours of Thursday, June 23 upon hearing that someone was impersonating himself as Spokesman of the IYC in a live radio programme went to the Azikoro Police Station, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State to report a case of impersonation and the said impersonator and his accomplice were arrested by the police from a radio station where he was impersonating the office of the Spokesman of the IYC.”

He stressed that “the IYC under Udengs Eradiri has been peaceful and law abiding as clearly demonstrated in the several petitions that have been written to the Inspector General of Police, the Director of State Security Services, Commissioner of Police, Bayelsa State and other security agencies to call to justice the people impersonating themselves as President and Spokesman of the IYC and their sponsors.

“The ultimate aim of the impersonators and their sponsors from the onset is to escalate the already volatile security situation in the Niger Delta region. This fact we have clearly stated in our petitions to the Inspector General of Police and Director of State Security Services. We once again reinstate our call for the impersonators and their sponsors to be brought to justice to save the already volatile security situation in the Niger Delta from degenerating.”