As the cloud of uncertainty pervades Yenagoa the Bayelsa State capital over the arrest of some of the state treasury staff by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) has urged the Inspector General of Police and the Director-General of the SSS to compel the state Commissioner of Police and the state Director of SSS to produce the state commissioner for Finance, Dr. Sylva Opuala-Charles declared wanted by the anti graft body.
Speaking with newsmen in Yenagoa yesterday, the IYC Secretary-General, Udengs Eradiri said the state Commissioner for Finance, Dr. Opuala-Charles declared wanted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) should be produced by the security agencies in the state since he is said to be within the state.
He said, â€œWe must take action that will save Bayelsa State. We are aware that the EFCC invaded the state. They made some arrest and declared the Finance Commissioner, Dr. Sylva Opuala-Charles wanted. In order to save our state the embarrassment, he should surrender himself to the EFCC.â€
Continuing he said, â€œThe governor and the commissioner of police must make him available. We have information that he is in Government House. The Finance Commissioner should make himself available. We will not compromise individualism in governance.â€
Eradiri wondered why the commissioner of police and the state Director of the SSS are yet to arrest him after being declared wanted saying, â€œIf the state commissioner of police and the State Director of the SSS do not arrest him, then they will be seen as collaborators.â€
But the state government through the Overseer of the Ministry of Information, Strategy and Orientation, Hon. Nathan Egba had in a statement insisted that its Finance Commissioner was not running away from the law.
The statement reads, â€œthe Bayelsa State Government has noted the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC), declaration of the Bayelsa state Commissioner of Finance as a wanted person.
â€œWe however wish to state that he was not running away from the law. He stayed back in Bayelsa based on an agreement between EFCC and the state government in order that government business will not ground to a total halt. For instance he needed to arrange for civil servants salaries.
â€œHe will however turn himself in, so as to have the chance to clear his name.â€
Meanwhile, the IYC has also decried the recent short listing of candidates for the Short Service Commission into the Nigerian Navy which seems to have short changed the people of the Niger Delta region as only 79 persons from the zone were short listed.
The Ijaw youth body lamented that only four and seven candidates were short listed from Bayelsa and Rivers states respectively, adding that given the region’s deltaic terrain it should have been accorded priority attention in the selection exercise.
To this end, the Ijaw youth body called on the governors of Bayelsa and Rivers to reject the list describing the selection as lopsided.
Condemning the alleged marginalization the IYC said, â€œthe post amnesty programme alone should have been an opportunity to engage most of the Niger Delta youths. They should be given priority in the Army, Navy, Air force and the police since they already know how to use arms and ammunition.â€
He also expressed concern that non Bayelsans are made to take the places of Bayelsa in Armed forces recruitment exercises and other federal organs, saying that â€œthis kind of actions would not be accepted by the Ijaw nation.â€