- We’re in a constitutional democracy, IYC warns
A combined team of military and police officers in the early hours of Friday invaded and took over Ijaw House, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State to prevent ex-Niger Delta militants agitators from having their proposed meeting for yesterday.
The invasion led to sharp reaction from the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC), Worldwide which condemned in the strongest terms the military invasion of the administrative headquarters of the Ijaw National Congress (INC), the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) that also houses the Bayelsa State Ministry of Ijaw National Affairs and Culture.
A statement issued to Nigerian Pilot by IYC Spokesman, Comrade Eric Omare, said that, “it is illegal, unconstitutional and a draw back to the dark days of military dictatorship where Nigerians were deprived of their fundamental rights.
“The IYC wishes to remind the President and Commander- in- Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Mohammadu Buhari, that we are in a constitutional democracy where things are done according to law.
“The 1999 Constitution, which is the foundation upon which our democracy is built, recognizes the right to freedom of assembly and movement. The Niger-Delta people, whether as ex-agitators or youth groups, have the right to assembly in a meeting and free movement.
“Since yesterday, the 24th of July, 2015, all officers and administrative staff of the INC and IYC including Bayelsa State civil servants under the Bayelsa State Ministry of Ijaw National Affairs and Culture have been denied access to the premises.
“This is a threat to our nascent democracy. Democracy is not only about having rice and beans to eat but the enjoyment of basic and fundamental rights which are enshrined and guaranteed in the constitution.
“The fears of many Nigerians that General Buhari would take Nigeria back to the dark days of dictatorship where there was no regard for human rights are coming to reality.
“The IYC has it in good authority that President Buhari has an agenda to bomb and destroy the Niger-Delta region especially the Ijaw areas. The military movement into the Niger Delta region we have been reliably informed would commenced this week. “The IYC, the Ijaw Nation and the Niger Delta people wishes to alert Nigerians and the International community of this impending humanitarian disaster.
“President Buhari did not go to a war with the Niger Delta people in the March 28, 2015 Presidential election with Niger-Delta born Goodluck Jonathan but only contested an election for which he came out victorious.
“We are, therefore, at a lost as to why President Buhari has decided to treat the Niger Delta region like an enemy zone and a conquered territory. Only two days in faraway United States, President Buhari confirmed that he would not treat the Niger Delta region like other regions.
“President Buhari has demonstrated so far in office that he is not interested in the welfare of the people of the Niger Delta but only in the oil resources found in the Niger Delta region.
“The IYC call on President Buhari to order the military and police officers presently forcefully occupying Ijaw House, Yenagoa to immediately vacate the premises and stop forthwith the violation of the rights of people who have business to carry out at Ijaw House, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.
“Political, opinion and religious leaders and the international community should prevail on General Buhari to have regard for constitutionalism in the Niger Delta region and stop the violation of the rights of Niger Deltans.
“The IYC would also take immediate legal and related actions to address these violations. Whether President Buhari likes it or not, the Niger Delta people would meet to determine their destiny in Nigeria.”