The Ijaw Youths Council (IYC) Worldwide, has urged Niger Delta youths to desist from crime and violence, stressing that the laws of the land will always catch up with those who continue to engage in vices.
It condemned the ongoing violence and gun battle in ex-militant leader, Paul Eris’ Peremabiri community in Southern Ijaw Council of Bayelsa State.
In a statement issued in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, President of IYC, Peter Timothy Igbifa, however, assured that the IYC would collaborate with security agencies, community leaders and stakeholders to end the crisis in the area.
He also disclosed that the group has cancelled its proposed protests against the appointment of Effiong Akwa as Sole Administrator of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), saying the IYC had chosen dialogue.
He said the Council has scheduled a meeting with stakeholders to discuss issues affecting the Niger Delta region and the current management structure of the NDDC, adding that the meeting would take a common decision and formulate an action plan for the region.
Igbifa said the group would use the opportunity to discuss issues surrounding the proposed formation of a regional security outfit to tackle emerging threats, especially in Ijaw communities.
“One of the targets is to ensure immediate relocation of oil multinationals’ headquarters to the region. We appeal to all stakeholders to maintain peace and allow the meeting to take far-reaching decisions,” he said.
Disclosing that the meeting would hold before the end of January, Igbifa stated that all the zonal leaders, chapter heads, clan heads and other leaders of the Ijaw ethnic nationalities across the country were expected to attend the meeting.
“We must sit down and articulate our positions on issues and agree on action plans at all times. Any action not sanctioned by our collective decision cannot stand and will not emanate from the IYC.
“The IYC under my leadership has not articulated our common position on the current development in the NDDC management. We will take that decision at the stakeholders’ meeting scheduled to hold before the end of the month,” he added.
Igbifa restated his call on Ijaw youths to desist from actions and protests capable of causing tension and undermining economic activities in the region, as well as avoid being used for destabilisation and disunity at a time the Niger Delta region should be setting an agenda for 2021.