The Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) worldwide has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to call security agents to order following the indiscriminate arrests of Ijaw and other Niger Delta youths.
In a statement by Eric Omare, the IYC spokesman, the group advised the federal government not to use the renewed militancy in the Niger Delta as a political tool to arrest and silence opposing voices in the Niger Delta region, NAIJ.com reports.
The IYC wonders why it has become an offence to express ones support for a cause through the social media, adding that President Buhari was one of the greatest beneficiaries of the social media during the last presidential election.
“The Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) worldwide call on security agents of the federal government of Nigeria to stop the indiscriminate arrest of Ijaw and Niger Delta youths under the guise of fighting renewed militancy in the Niger Delta region.
“In recent times, there have been indiscriminate arrests of Ijaw and other Niger Delta youths by security agents without charging any of them to court.
“So far security agents have arrested Ijaw youths such as Mr. Simeon Bebenimino, Bomboy Oluba, Aboy Muturu, the Oporoza 10 and several others.
“The latest of the victims of this indiscriminate arrest is Comrade Daniel Ezekiel, an Ijaw youth from Egebma Clan in Warri North Local Government Area of Delta.
“Daniel Ezekiel, who is the Spokesperson of a Niger Delta based civil society organization, the Ijaw Peoples’ Development Initiative (IPDI) was arrested/abducted on Thursday, August 4, 2016 while on his way from Sapele to Warri in Delta State.
“Up to the time of issuing this statement, the where about of Mr. Daniel Ezekiel is unknown. In the days leading to the arrest/abduction of Mr. Ezekiel, he complained of threats to his life by some persons who claimed to be working for the federal government and security agencies in the Niger Delta.
“Daniel Ezekiel is a passionate believer in the Niger Delta cause and like several young Nigerians has actively used the social media in articulating the Niger Delta cause.
“The IYC wonders when it has become an offence to express one’s support for a cause through the social media.
“After all President Buhari is one of the greatest beneficiaries of the social media during the last presidential election; so why the clampdown on those who expresses dissent to his administration through the same medium?
“The IYC wishes to strongly advise the federal government and agents of the federal government including party chieftains not to use the renewed militancy in the Niger Delta as a political tool to arrest and silence opposing voices in the Niger Delta region.
“There are indications that more opposing voices in the Niger Delta may be arrested in the days ahead on the instigation of some politicians to settle political scores.
“We call on President Buhari to call the security agencies to order as indiscriminate arrest of Niger Deltans especially those expressing dissent to the administration’s approach to issue affecting the region would not do him any good.
“We reiterate our call for those under arrest to be charged to a court of competent jurisdiction in line with the rule of law or be released without delay,” the statement said.
The IYC had earlier advised President Buhari to look for Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) within his government. Udengs Eradiri, the president of the group, revealed this to the press at the headquarters of the council in Yenagoa, Bayelsa state.
He also lamented endless linkage of avengers and criminals in Lagos state to Ijaw people.