Protesters on Saturday in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital, attacked the newly-elected President of the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC), Worldwide, Comrade Peter Igbifa, over alleged reluctance to call out Ijaw youths from the nine states of the region for the ongoing protest against police brutality in the country.

Igbifa, was reportedly at the State Government House to call on the State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, but he met a crowd of protesters who turned on him and started chatting. Thief. Coward.

A shocked IYC President, who is from Rivers State, was short of words and attempt to help him into the Government House was met with resistance as angry youth started pelting stones and sachet water at him.

Igbifa was eventually guarded out of the rowdy situation by some bodyguards and few Ijaw youths as the protesters continued hauling obscene words.

Some of the youths accused him of being “too frequent at the state Govt House” and “failure to lead the Ijaw Youths in the ongoing End SARS protest in the Niger Delta.”

Reacting to the development, the Spokesman of the Ijaw Youths Council, Comrade Ebilade Ekerefe, described the action of the angry protesters as a “sacrilege”, “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.”

“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 End SARS protest is going on, every region is strategizing and ours cannot be different.

“As Council, we consider the End SARS 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.

“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 this steps are going on, some unguarded protesters amongst genuine once 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 contempt if we are fighting for our regional interest.”

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