Ijaw Youths condemn arrest of ex-Niger Delta agitators

TomitJanuary 8, 2017
The Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) has condemned the continuous arrest and detention of former Niger Delta agitators.

 The IYC spokesman, Mr Eric Omare, made this known in a statement to newsmen  in Warri, Delta, on Sunday. 

Omare decried the continued invasion, arrest and detention of ex-agitators without any justifiable reasons. 

“The latest of such invasion and arrest is the commando style arrest of ex-agitator, Bounanawei Smith on Jan. 7, 2017 in Warri, Delta. 

“Smith was arrested while hosting some IYC members in his guest house at Esiso Estate, Warri, by a combined team of military officers. 

“They invaded and ransacked the whole of his guest house and some of the IYC members who were with him narrowly escaped death when the military officers shot sporadically into his apartment,” he said. 

The spokesman subsequently demanded the immediate release of Smith,who he said, was currently in the custody of the Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) Delta, Warri Naval Base. 

Omare said Smith had since accepted amnesty and had been very active in maintaining peace and security in the Niger Delta. 

“Few days ago before his arrest he hosted a meeting of Ijaw and Urhobo leaders toward resolving the age-long inter communal crisis between Ogbe-Ijoh, Isaba, Diebiri and Aladja communities. 

“In recognition of this, the Delta Government appointed him into the land and Waterways Security Committee and he has since been working closely with security agencies. 

“Such invasion, arrest and detention of Niger Delta people by the military has become a norm. 

On Jan. 1, 2017 military officers invaded Gbaraun community, southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa arrested a youth leader, Kalami Inakemeduo. 

While commending the Federal Government’s peace initiative in the region, Omare said such incessant and unlawful arrest was capable of truncating the peace process. (NAN)

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