By Emmanuel Addeh
The Ijaw Youth Congress, IYC, on Thursday warned that while the body is not opposed to the current peace efforts in the Niger Delta, its name should not be dragged into the politics of the ongoing ceasefire by the Niger Delta Avengers and other militant groups.
Mr Bristol Emmanuel, factional scribe of the youth body, comprising all youths of Ijaw descent, told journalists in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, that while the group is still consulting with leaders and elders in the region, some persons have been using the IYC to make private gains.
Emmanuel added that the group was yet to take any position on the crisis and efforts to end it, noting that when consultations are concluded, its position would be made public.
“While we are favourably disposed to all genuine efforts at attaining peace, security, stability and sustainable development in the Niger Delta and most especially Ijaw territories, we frown on the attempt to drag our name into the Niger Delta Avengers’ ceasefire announcement, when we are yet to issue any such statement.
“For the sake of clarity, we want to state unequivocally that as of today, the Ijaw Youth Council has not issued any statement on the NDA and Reformed Egbesu Fraternity ceasefire announcements.
“This is because we are still consulting with past Presidents, leaders-in-Council and “Ogbos’ as well as other critical stakeholders”, the group said.
It insisted that the Elvis Donkemezuo-led bloc remains the authentic one, stressing that as an institution, it remains politically neutral.
“When the consultations are ripe, we shall issue the appropriate statements. Against this backdrop, we frown against the indiscriminate utilization of our name in validating processes we are neither parties to, nor yet to express an opinion on.”