By Festus Ahon, Asaba
The Interim President of the Isoko Development Union Youth Wing, IDU-YW, Comrade Hyacinth Ede Ewariezi, Wednesday, said Isoko youths have no plans to vandalize or commit any form of economic sabotage against the Nigerian State as being speculated in some quarters.
Ewariezi in a statement after an emergency meeting by the youths frowned at a media report credited to one Amos Ogbokor-Etaluku wherein he threatened to shut down oil and gas facilities in Isoko, adding that he (Ewariezi) “is the legitimate and recognized President of the Isoko Youths and reinforce that the said Amos Ogbokor-Etaluku and his co-travellers do not have the mandate of the Isoko youths and people and does not have the authority to deploy the youths towards vandalism and other economic crimes.
“We, therefore, call on the Federal Government of Nigeria, the Delta State Government, the Department of State Service (DSS), the Nigerian Army and all relevant security agencies to immediately invite and investigate the threat to shut down oil and gas facilities by some faceless and misguided elements led by one Amos Ogbokor-Etaluku who illegally parades himself as the President of the now-disbanded Isoko National Youth Assembly (INYA).
“The Isoko youths under my leadership has no plan whatsoever to vandalize or commit any form of economic sabotage against the Nigerian State, noting that even at the height of militancy in the Niger Delta, Isoko Youths were known for peaceful and non-violent agitations as against the Brazen destruction of oil facilities witnessed in other parts of the region.
“I am the legitimate and recognized President of the Isoko youth and reinforce that the said Amos and his co-travellers do not have the mandate of the Isoko youth and people and as such does not have the authority to deploy the youths towards vandalism and other economic crimes.
“I am Comrade Ede Ewariezi Hycinth, the Interim President of Isoko Development Union (IDU) Youth-Wing. I am writing to the government and every relevant security agencies to keep the records straight without any ambiguity. That I am aware of a certain publication recently made by one Amos Ogbokor-Etaluku, wherein he threatened to shut down oil installations in Isoko if certain conditions were not met.
“First, I want to put it on record that the said Amos is an impostor without any backing of the Isoko people. The INYA which he claims to represent has been disbanded by the entire Isoko Nation in the General Conference of the Isoko Development Union (IDU) which took place on the 26th of December, 2020. This was because the IDU and by extension the entire Isoko ethnic nationality saw that the activities of the group portended grave danger to the Isoko Nation.
“In the said conference, the entire Isoko Nation unanimously agreed that the IDU-YOUTH WING be constituted and empowered to speak for the Isoko youths henceforth. This was agreed by all the 23 clans Presidents-General and all the traditional rulers in Isoko nation that were present in the conference.
“That I was appointed the IDU (the apex socio-cultural organization of the Isoko Nation) as the Interim President to lead the youth body and I have the authority, backing and IDU recommendation letters to all the Security Agents, Federal, State and local governmental agency. Those behind the said publication and their sponsors should be warned by the relevant security agents because such publication is capable of igniting more crisis in an already volatile area.
“It is true that the government must do more towards restoring sustainable peace and prosperity in Isoko land. Our youths need to be adequately empowered and gainfully engaged to achieve their full potentials. But in achieving this, we will not be dragged into sheer criminality such as vandalism of oil and gas assets situated in Isoko land and other economic crimes.
“Those calling for such criminal behaviours and actions are not interested in genuine peace in Isoko because they do not have the mandate of the people. We cannot be calling for peace in one breath and in another breath putting an option on the table that will put our youths in the trenches against the armed forces. For us, we will opt for a very civilized and elaborate approach towards peace rather than complicating the issues.
“Let me also add that the said Amos Ogbokor-Etaluku was among the delegation of the disbanded INYA who signed a pact with the men of the 222 battalion of the Nigerian Army at Agbarha some time ago, to the effect that they will be of good behaviour and will never be part of a protest, demonstration or any other gathering that is capable of causing social unrest in Isoko. I am by this publication calling on the security agencies to ensure that appropriate action is taken against these individuals should there be any form of deliberate vandalism of oil and gas assets in this locality.
“The Isoko Youths also will want to quickly note that the apex youth body is in support of any call for the composition of a Governing Board for the NDDC. However, it is important to note that section 171 (1-4) of the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria is clear on the powers of the President to appoint. While the NDDC is clear on the composition of the Board, the Act cannot supersede the Constitution.”