As the four-day burial programme for the late former governor of Bayelsa State, Chief Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, ended yesterday with a thanksgiving service in Ammasoma, the Ijaw Youths Council (IYC) cautioned against an alleged plot by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to arrest former President Goodluck Jonathan.
The umbrella body of Ijaw youths worldwide urged President Muhammadu Buhari and the anti-graft agency to shelve any such plan to persecute the former president, insisting that such a move would spell doom for the country and the government.
At a press conference to mark the end of the burial programme , the IYC President, Mr. Udengs Eradiri, said almost everybody that had close relationship with the former president had been arrested by the EFCC.
The IYC president particularly condemned the recent arrest and detention of Jonathan’s cousin, Mr. Robert Azibola , a contractor over an alleged $40million financial fraud.
Eradiri said Ijaw youths would not allow Azibola, Jonathan or any rising Ijaw leader to be persecuted by the EFCC the way the Federal Government dealt with the late Alamieyeseigha.
He said: “They have arrested almost all our people. Azibola was arrested by the EFCC and we are calling on the EFCC to stop persecuting him further and charge him to court if there are issues.
“They detained him for a long time forcing him to make statements to indict former President Jonathan. Azibola was a businessman, contractor and has the right like every Nigerian to get contracts. Why will the Niger Delta case be a different one?”
He added: “We noticed that the same way they persecuted Alamieyeseigha has continued. After Goodluck Jonathan, our people who contributed in that administration are being persecuted by this government.
“The recent one is the ploy to arrest Goodluck Jonathan which is unfolding everyday. This must stop. President Goodluck Jonathan is the most performing president that Nigeria has ever had. We are proud of him. Everyday there is a calculated attempt to whittle down the achievements of President Jonathan. We call on Nigerians to mount pressure on the government to focus on leading Nigeria aright rather than looking for ways to bring down the achievements of Jonathan.
“Buhari should please focus on governance rather than persecution of people who have added value. We are not happy about it and today we use Alamieyeseigha’s death as a point of contact. The world has seen that from Alamieyeseigha it has trickled down to all the Niger Delta people.”