The president of the Ijaw Youths Council (IYC) Worldwide, Peter Igbifa has narrated his experience while he was in the custody of his kidnappers.
Igbifa who narrated that he was picked up by some unknown persons on Tuesday morning, narrated that they wanted him to stop the ongoing protest against the federal government as regards the non-inauguration of a substantive board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
Naija News previously reported that unknown persons picked up Igbifa around 8.45am on Tuesday along the Port-Harcourt international airport route.
The DSS later debunked reports that its operatives arrested the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) president.
Narrating his ordeal on Wednesday night, Igbifa said he was abducted by assailants who blindfolded him, drove him around different places, and wanted him to make a video telling protesting youths to call off their protests in the region.
However, when he told them he couldn’t reverse the order or protest, they got frustrated and dropped him off on Wednesday night in Opokuma, Bayelsa State.
The IYC president noted that some locals in the area were the ones who helped him get to the Bayelsa State Police Command where he was debriefed by the state commissioner of police before he also met with the sate governor, Duoye Diri.
In his words, “I didn’t know the places they took me to because I was blindfolded. All they wanted me to do was to call off the protest. They wanted me to do video asking the youths to back down.
“But I told them that I already did a video in the morning asking them to go ahead with the protest even if I was kidnapped, arrested, or killed.
“They became frustrated when they saw the protest going on at many places in the region. I also told them that I won’t betray the principles of our struggle”.
Igbifa who talked tough said he was not intimidated by his experience, and the protest must continue until the Federal Government inaugurates the board of the commission.
He said: “I am more than ever determined to continue with the protest. My experience has not intimidated me and the protest will be more intense”.
Igbifa also said some of the council’s executive committee members led by the spokesperson, Ebilade Ekerefe, who held a meeting with Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio were on their own.
According to him, whatever agreement they reached with Akpabio was not binding on IYC and the Ijaw nation.
“Whatever meeting they held without me is null and void. I didn’t authorize the meeting and its outcome is not binding on IYC and the Ijaw nation. We have taken a decision and that is final. It is a board or nothing.
“What are they even doing in Abuja? I know the kind of pressure I faced and bogus offers I got to frustrate this protest but I turned down all of them because I can’t betray my people and the Niger Delta must move forward. Therefore, they are on their own”.
Meanwhile, the Ijaw Youths Council (IYC) Worldwide on Wednesday shut down the Bayelsa office of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
Naija News reports that the youths are protesting against the refusal of the Federal Government to inaugurate a substantive board of the NDDC.
It was gathered that the protesters also blocked the Mbiama-axis of the East-West road.
While flying the flag of the IYC, the youths said to have stopped traffic along the ever-busy East-West road causing panic among motorists and commuters.
The group had given a 30-day ultimatum, which expired on May 25th, for the Federal Government and the Ministry of the Niger Delta Affairs to constitute the board or risk total shutdown of the Niger Delta.