By Emem Idio
YENAGOA — FOR over two hours, Ijaw youths in their hundreds, yesterday, shut down activities at the headquarters of Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, NCDMB, in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital, during a peaceful protest.
They alleged that the board had opened new offices in Lagos and Abuja contrary to the provision of the Local Content Act.
The youths who stormed the office complex located on Isaac Boro Expressway from 9 a.m., chanting solidarity songs, forced their way into the complex by pulling down a section of the fence when the security guards denied them access through the main gate.
The protesting youths grounded activities at the complex and barred staff from going in or exiting their offices. However, a detachment of security operatives was on hand to prevent the protest from turning violent.
Chairman of Ijaw Youths Council, IYC, Central Zone, Tari Pourri, who led the protest, said it had come to the knowledge of IYC that the NCDMB had opened new offices in Lagos and Abuja contrary to Section 71, sub paragraph 3 of the NCDMB Act.
“This headquarters has been left redundant and the Executive Secretary now operates from Lagos and Abuja and comes here only once in three months. This is unacceptable, the Executive Secretary should stay here with us,” Pourri stated.
The state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Asuquo Amba, who arrived the scene one hour after the protest began, commended the youths for their peaceful disposition and urged them to remain calm as the state governor was aware of their grievances and had promised to wade into the matter.
Earlier, at a general congress, IYC central zone had suspended the President of IYC Worldwide, Mr. Owolaemi Peretubo, from all activities in the zone, accusing him of conniving with the NCDMB.