Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) Worldwide

Press Statement

9/04/2024

Incessant Invasion, Harrasmenent Of Ijaw Sons, Communities, Whisking Of Jackrich, IYC Demands An End

The attention of the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) Worldwide has again been drawn to the incessant invasion, harrasmenent and arrest of Ijaw sons in the Nigerian State, particularly on Monday 8th of April 2024 at 3:30am in Osokun, Degema Local Government Area of Rivers State wherein a highly revered Ijaw leader, Amb. Chief Sobomabo Jackrich, popularly known as Egberipapa was arrested and two of his men killed in the process.

A point must be made known that the Ijaws are not second class fiddles in this country, we have sacrificed a lot towards the growth and development of this country and needs not to be treated as a conquered people.

In the last few months, Ijaw lands and her prominent leaders have been invaded, harrassed, arrested and embarrassed for whatever strange reasons by the military that the Ijaw people are yet to know.

The IYC Worldwide was inundated with distress calls from Ijaw Youths all over the World yesterday on how military men with Vans and Armoured Personnel Carrier stormed the Osokun Resident of Amb. Sobomabo Jackrich in Degema Local Government Area of Rivers State wherein two persons were killed and Jackrich was arrested and taken to an unknown destination.

Nigeria is not a banana republic, Nigeria is a country governed by law, whatever we do must be within the ambit of the law, those meant to protect the law must not be seen breaking the law.

Too many Ijaw leaders and critical stakeholders have been killed, harrassed and humiliated in the past few weeks that we are yet to know the reasons behind such attacks and invasions.

In a similar fashion, One Chief Tike Weris, Former Chairman of Bayelsa Waterways Security was brazenly arrested by the Military at The Portharcourt International Airport and up till now, there is no single information about his whereabout and safety. In fact rumours have it that he has been killed in custody. We hope that this rumour is not true.

While the Ijaw Youth Council will continue to champion peace movements in Nigeria and Niger Delta, we will not forget to draw our attention to certain events similar to the Okuama attack on the military in the North and the perceived response from the Military. While we are not against fighting crime in Nigeria, we want this to be done within the ambit of the law.

See details below:

ATTACKS ON THE MILITARY IN THE NORTH;

1) 36 Nigerian soldiers killed in ambush by bandits – Nasarawa 18/08/2023 (Punch)

2) Bandits kill 10 soldiers in NDA attack in Kaduna -5/04/2022 (Al Jazeera)*

3) 17 soldiers feared dead as bandits attack Zamfara community – 25/07/23 (Channels)

4) At least 30 Nigerian soldiers killed in ambush after mine attack in Shiroro Niger state – 3/07/2022 (Reuters)

5) At least 50 Nigerian soldiers killed in a deadly ambush by suspected Boko Haram gunmen in Yobe state – 24/03/2020 (Premium Times)

6) A Lieutenant Colonel in the Nigerian Army and five soldiers have lost their lives in an ambush by the Boko Haram terrorists along Biu-Buni Yadi road, Borno State. April 6th 2024 (Daily Trust).

The Nigerian Military cannot only be powerful in the South and Niger Delta and cannot be seen displaying such might in the North that far stronger crimes are committed by insurgents and other criminal elements.

The IYC is demanding to know the whereabout of Amb. Chief Sobomabo Jackrich who is a former Rivers State Governorship candidate in the last Governorship election in Rivers State and a critical stakeholder and leader in Ijaw nation.

Council have also watched the President Bola Tinubu led Federal Government of Nigeria on how the Military recently went to negotiate with bandits for the release of the 137 Kaduna students and in the process also had a handshake with the bandits instead of enforcement of their rights. Only God knows what would have happened if it where to be in the Niger Delta.

Finally, With the way things are going, the Ijaw people will not be surprised to wake up one day that the military has invaded former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan’s House. This attack on Ijaw leaders is becoming worrisome in the Nigerian State. We demand to know the whereabout and offense of Sobomabo Jackrich. What is the offense of the Ijaw people in the Nigerian State.

Signed

Amb. Binebai Yerin Princewill

Spokesman Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) Worldwide.