There is a ticking time bomb in the Niger Delta region. Ijaw youths in their hundreds on Wednesday vowed to resist further ‘harrassment and victimization’ of former President Goodluck Jonathan, his wife Patience and some ex-militants recently arrested by security agents.
The angry youths held a peaceful protest on Wednesday in Warri, Delta state and threatened to block security agencies from molesting and hounding Ijaw people.
The youths drawn from the Ijaw Youth Council, IYC, Western Zone, marched the streets of Warri, chanting anti-Buhari slogans and vowed that henceforth every unjust arrest, intimidation would be vehemently resisted.
The protesters later assembled at the Ogbe-Ijoh market from where they marched down to NPA, causing heavy vehicular traffic at the wee hours of the day.
Many motorists had to detour from Warri/Sapale road to other routes for the period the protest lasted.
Led by the Chairman of IYC Western Zone, Comrade Freedom .E. Atigbi, the protesters specifically expressed concern over the continuous harrassment of former President Goodluck Jonathan and his immediate family.
Some of the placards bored by the protesters read; ‘”Enough is Enough, FG, DSS”, FG Face Your Economy Problems Alone”, EFCC, Security Stop Harrassment and Intimidation of Ijaw, continuation of persecution of Because of Our Oil”, Buhari Leave Us Alone”, Its Not Only Ijaws that are In This Country”, among others.
The protesters accused Buhari of using the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC and Department of State Security, DSS as his attack bulldogs to hound former President Jonathan and his wife, Patience, whereas other past presidents are left out in the corruption fight.
The protesters said currently the development is causing tension in oil rich Niger Delta region as youths, and ex-militants are being forced to return to the creeks.
Atigbi who addressed the protesters said; “We are protesting today because President Buhari have singled out Ijaw people for harassment. This arrest, harrassment, and intimidation are becoming too many and it calls for questions.
“They have arrested so many ex-militants, and activists here in Warri and other places for no just cause without charging them to court. We are not against his anti-corruptIon war but it must not be selective.”
“Few days ago they broke into the former president’s home, ransacked everywhere, whereas other past leaders in this country still enjoy patronage without harassment.
“The family of Abacha that looted this country to ground level still get federal government protection and contracts, nobody is persecuting them.
“We are using this medium to warn that if Buhari continues to harrass, arrest our people, we would resist the security agents and also defend our people.
“If Buhari cannot accord Jonathan his due respect, we would be forced to defend him and others. We are ready to defend our people being persecuted unjustly, from now on, any indiscriminate arrest, harrassment and detention will be met with strong resistance”, the protesters said.
In a related development, Spokesman of the Ijaw Youth Council, Eric Omare has called on Niger Delta leaders to intervene to stop the indiscriminate arrest of Niger Delta youth activists and ex-agitators by the federal government.
Omare made this call when he lead Ijaw youths to the Warri residence of Ijaw leader Alaowei Broderick Bozimo on Tuesday to draw his attention and other Ijaw leaders to the potential danger involved in the indiscriminate arrest been carried out by the military in the Niger Delta.