From Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa


The Ijaw Youth Council, IYC has raised alarm over what it called ‘’the increasing harassment’’ of prominent people across the Niger Delta by the military.

It described the development as worrisome which is capable of leading to another round of unrest in the region after decades of peace.

The national spokesman of IYC, Comrade Bedford Berefa, who stated while addressing newsmen said the military has unwholesome intentions by the constant harassment of notable personalities in the Ijaw nation for crime that was committed in an Urhobo community.

Berefa who recalled the military invasion of Igbomotoru community in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa State and the residence of foremost Ijaw leader, Chief Edwin Clark, decried the action as unpalatable.

‘’The other day, it was the homeland of a foremost leader who had sacrificed over 70 years of his life serving this country. His house was burgled, and persons intimidated for no just cause owing to an allegation of harbouring suspected killers of the military at Okuama community. Most recent is the forceful arrest of a respected Ijaw leader Jackrich that led to the death of two innocent lives; afterwards he was released for reasons best known to the military. We patiently await who is going to be the next victim of this deliberate victimisation of Ijaw people across the region.

‘’Also, Okpokunu community too was ransacked by the military, and the community chairman and others were whisked away to Bori camp. Up until now, there is no explanation given.


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The Ijaw Youth Council is asking what our crime is? Why are our leaders harassed by the military whose constitutional right is to protect the territorial integrity of this country and not saddled with the responsibility of carrying out investigations that we know is the role of the Nigerian Police and DSS.


‘’For us, this could just be another attempt to undermine the Ijaw nation and box us to live in fear. That is not in our character as a people. Let it be on record that these constant reprisal attacks can only aggravate the people and lead anarchy in the region, which will have grievous consequences on the staggering economy of the nation,’’ he said

Berefa accused South South governors of being complacent and failing in their duties to address this pressing issue that could take the region back to the era of unrest.

He accused them of only being interested in fat allocations and selfish political stability without recourse to the plight of the people.


He urged the governors of the region to take responsibility and curb the ongoing show of force and alleged militarization of the region by the military which can trigger chaos if not nip in the bud.