The leadership of the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) has condemned in strong terms allegation that they plot to hoist the flag of Biafra in Ijaw communities in Edo State an allegation they said was a ploy to scuttle the Western Zone election of the IYC.
Addressing a press conference in Benin City, Chairman, Electoral Commission of IYC, Western Zone, Napoleon Kenerekedi, said though the election eventually held, it was wrong for individuals to make such allegation against a group like IYC.
According to him, because of the allegation a high power security apparatus were deployed to the area where the election held.
He said: “We were given the mandate by the national leadership of IYC to conduct this election in our Ijaw clans in Edo, Ondo and Delta states. By our timetable, our election in Edo was slated for April 21. Before the election there were series of issues from an aspirant that he is not comfortable with the venue that was unanimously selected.
“He petitioned the Committee to the state government and security agencies that we are to converge in Inikorogha community to form the Biafra Republic.
“I want to say emphatically that Ijaw people have no connection with the Biafra Republic. We are Ijaw people and if there is any need for us to leave Nigeria; we have our own country that we will go to. We have no link with the Biafra Republic, so we want to inform the security agencies and Edo State government that we are not part of anything Biafra, we have no link with them.
“They should call those who wrote that petition to order and the petition should be investigated. We cannot continue to tolerate those who always want pitch Ijaw people against Edo people.”
Also an Ijaw leader, Donneby Ben while commending the security agencies who he said were professional after discovering that the allegation was false, urged the authorities to investigate the allegation.
“I was shocked to see gunboats, marine police, vehicles with military personnel at the Gelegele waterfront, this caused panic among our people. I want the authorities and all military and para-military organizations to investigate this allegation and those who wrote the petition,” he said.