IJAW Youth Council, IYC, has said there were no security threats in Niger Delta region as being insinuated by the country’s Chief of Defense Staff, Air Chief Marshall Alex Badeh.
Badeh at the commissioning of the permanent headquarters of the Joint Task Force, JTF Igbogene, Bayelsa State, has raised the alarm over security threats in the region and vowed that the military would turn its arsenal to the region because of rise in criminal activities such as oil theft, kidnappings and piracy.
But the IYC said the claim by Air Chief Marshall Badeh could be an excuse by the federal government to attack and kill innocent people of the region.
The group in a release on Sunday signed by its spokesman, Eric Omare, stated that the move by the federal government was a prelude to the execution of a hidden agenda by a section of the country now in power, to allegedly silence the people of the Niger Delta region.
IYC, which has been in the forefront of the Niger Delta struggle, noted that the people of the region were the greatest victims of organised oil bunkering gang as the environment which the people rely on for survival had suffered so much degradation.
Lamenting the activities of criminals in the region, Omare said: “IYC does not support or encourage criminal activities such as kidnapping and sea piracy under any guise as these activities are not part of our struggle.
“We wish to also state clearly that the Niger Delta amnesty programme for ex-agitators has no connection with the criminal activities mentioned by Air Marshall Alex Badeh.
“The ex-Niger Delta agitators were not granted amnesty to stop oil theft, kidnapping, sea piracy and other criminal activities, but their struggle was to better the condition of the people and their region from the oil and gas resources found in their land.
“However, the occurrence of these criminal activities in the Niger Delta region cannot be used as a justification to carry out a mass attack on the region.”

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