Soldiers seal off venue of ex-militants’ meeting in Bayelsa

A combined team of soldiers and policemen have been drafted to the Ijaw house venue of a proposed meeting by Niger Delta ex-militants.

Sources saidt the security operatives were deployed on the orders of Governor Seriake Dickson on Friday.

Civil servants in Bayelsa Ministry if Culture and Ijaw National Affairs and other government agencies with offices in the same building were denied access to their offices on Friday.

The Bayelsa government had announced the cancellation of the meeting convened by ex-militants leaders in Bayelsa in a statement on Friday.

The Bayelsa Governor, Mr. Dickson, in a statement by his chief press secretary, Daniel Iworiso-Markson, stated that the governor has offered to meet with the former militants leaders at a later date.

“Bayelsa State Governor, Hon. Henry Seriake Dickson has called for the postponement of the proposed meeting of the leaders of ex-agitators in the Niger Delta, earlier scheduled for this Saturday, 25th of July, 2015 in Yenagoa by them,” Mr. Iworiso-Markson said.

The statement added that the governor will meet with them soon, to discuss issues as it affects the ex-agitators and others issues of overall strategic interest of the region and the nation as a whole.

Mr. Iworiso-Markson called for the understanding and cooperation of all concerned.

However, in a reaction to Bayelsa Govrnment’s seal off of the venue, the Ijaw Youths Council in a statement by its spokesperson, Eric Omare, blamed President Muhammad Buhari for the development.

“The Ijaw Youth Council Worldwide condemn in the strongest terms the military invasion of Ijaw House, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State; the administrative headquarters of the Ijaw National Congress the Ijaw Youth Council and housing the Bayelsa State Ministry of Ijaw National Affairs and Culture,” he said.

“A combined team of military and police officers in the early hours of Friday, the 24th of July, 2015 invaded and took over Ijaw House, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State to prevent ex-Niger Delta agitators from having their proposed meeting on Saturday, the 25th of July, 2015.

“This is illegal, unconstitutional and a draw back to the dark days of military dictatorship where Nigerians were deprived of their fundamental rights.

“The IYC wishes to remind the President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, that we are in a constitutional democracy where things are done according to law.”

The IYC also alleged that Mr. Buhari had a plot to attack the Niger Delta region.

“The fears of many Nigerians that General Buhari would take Nigeria back to the dark days of dictatorship where there is no regard for human rights are coming to reality,” he said.

“The IYC has it on good authority that President Buhari has an agenda to bomb and destroy the Niger-Delta region especially the Ijaw areas.

“The military movement into the Niger Delta region we have been reliably informed would commence this week.”

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