The Ijaw Youth Council, Central Zone, has accused some Abuja-based politicians of hijacking the IYC to politicise the management of the Niger Delta Development Commission.
The Central Zone, comprising Bayelsa State and some parts of Rivers State, also condemned its President, Mr. Pereotubo Oweilaemi, and a Niger Delta activist, Ankio Briggs, for staging a protest at the NDDC headquarters.
Oweilaemi had reportedly led some youths from the IYC national faction to protest at the headquarters of the NDDC in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, following a tenure elongation controversy rocking the board of the commission.
The President and other youths were said to have stormed the NDDC headquarters in company with Ankio Briggs and demanded the dissolution of the Senator Ndoma Egba-led board.
They had claimed that the tenure of the current Managing Director of the NDDC, Mr. Nsima Ekere, had expired, insisting that it was the turn of Bayelsa to manage the intervention agency.
But the Chairman of the Central Zone of the IYC, Mr. Tari Porri, distanced himself from the controversy.
Porri said Ijaw youths from the zone had earlier taken a position not to distract the current management of the NDDC to enable it to deliver on its mandate.
He said the zone would never be involved in the politicisation of the NDDC management as long as the current board remained focused in giving Bayelsa its share of developmental projects.
He added that persons, who arranged the Port-Harcourt protest, failed to even consult the zone, which they claimed was supposed to produce the next management of the board.
Porri warned some Abuja-based politicians against hijacking the IYC to play “dangerous politics,” insisting that Bayelsa remained the epicentre of the council.
The zonal chairman said, “We have said it before and we want to say it again; count us out of this NDDC tenure controversy. The central zone of the IYC was not aware and was never part of whatever protest that had been done in Port Harcourt. The zone was never consulted and we don’t know whatever that happened there.
“We are the epicentre of the IYC, the Jerusalem of the Ijaw nation. Nobody should use the IYC to play party politics in Abuja.”
Reiterating the zone’s position, he said their position was that the IYC was interested in an NDDC board that would bring development to Bayelsa State and by extension, the central zone.