A pressure group, South-South Reawakening Group (SSRG) has called on relevant authorities to punish the president of the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC), Comrade Peter Igbifa if the rumour making the rounds that he stage-managed his own kidnap was established.
Convener of the group, Mr. Joseph Ambakederimo, in a statement, “it is disheartening to hear that a false alarm was put out a few days ago on the alleged kidnap of the Ijaw Youth President Peter Igbifa on his way to Abuja enroute the Port Harcourt Airport.”
It could be recalled that the media was awash few days ago over the alleged kidnap of the ljaw youth leader in Port Harcourt, Rivers state
a day to the planned shutting down of NDDC headquarters over refusal by the federal government to constitute a substantive board for the commission.
While Igbifa was ‘missing,’ accusing fingers were pointed at Senator Godswill Akpabio, Minister for Niger Delta Affairs, for orchestrating the kidnap of the IYC president to avert the planned protest.
When he was finally released, Igbifa was accused in some quarters of having arranged his own kidnap with the intention to evade the protest after possible compromise.
In a statement entitled: IYC Show of Shame, the group said the alleged kidnap was to make Akpabio look bad in the eyes of Nigerians following threats of massive protest to shut down the Niger Delta region by IYC and other youth groups who signed to join the protest.
Describing interim administrator as alien appointment that runs contrary to the provisions of the act that established the NDDC, the statement also frowned at the condition given by the federal government that the interim administration would run until the conclusion of the ongoing forensic audit, accusing the board of gross financial misconduct.
“This is the reason why the Minister has exploited this clause to his personal advantage by shifting the date for the end to the audit. It is quite interesting. About two trillion so far has been budgeted and approved for the commission in the past three years with nothing tangible to show till date and no one his batting an eyelid.
“It is no news that the forensic audit ordered by the President has now been turned into a circus for mismanagement and misappropriation of public funds to oil the machinery of political interests of a few while the region and its people continue to suffer the perpetual psychological torture of these buccaneers”, the statement read.
On the IYC president, the statement further read: “it is now made abundantly clear that many of the kidnap cases we hear are all a hoax and all in a bid to heat up the polity and blow the insecurity situation out of proportion and by extension malign President Buhari.
“What the IYC President and his cotravellers did is unacceptable in any sane society and they should be punished for it. We cannot allow these kind of characters to roam free in our society.
“They must be brought to face the law if it is established that he faked his kidnap to deter many who have indulged in this kind of practice. We condemn this attitude in its strongest terms and call for his outright sack from office if found culpable.
“Yes Peter Igbifa may have done well to oppose the present situation in the NDDC like many have done across the country and still do because what we have and coming out of the NDDC is a putrid smell that is not good for any government that purports to be fighting corruption.
“The NDDC today has become an institution where corruption walks with four legs and you can feel the corruption like a solid object all under the watch of Godswill Akpabio who suprintends over the NDDC.
“Now while the news of his suspension as the President of IYC is a welcome development is because of his betrayal of trust and the disrepute he has inadvertently brought to the Izon nation. Going further we will make bold to say those who have suspended him are also as guilty as Peter Igbifa.
“The reason is we hear from the grapevine that a section of young men where induced with money up to the tune of a hundred million to take this action after meeting with the Minister.
“Perhaps Peter Igbifa too may have made himself amenable to inducement only if the price was good, but unfortunately he was schemed out of the game.
“This is what the IYC has been doing since the creation and I stand to be corrected and challenged. It is a body created to armstrong and blackmail government and the oil companies to submission using some malignant issues that have refused to go away because of government insincere attitude towards the development of the region.
Meanwhile, the embattled lYC president, Peter Igbifa has since debunked the allegation that he arranged and kidnapped himself.