The Ogoni Youth Federation (OYF) the unlawful detention of her President-General, Comrade Legborsi Yamaabana Sunday by the Department of State Services (DSS), Rivers State command over what it termed ‘the spurious allegations by one Caroline Barine Nagbo’, a member of the Interim Management Committee of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
OYF in a statement made available to theportcitynews on Thursday by Comrade Lene Kingsley Lekue, its Publicity Secretary, said “the substratum of the issue is that the Niger Delta Development commission distributed palliatives to youths in the nine states of Niger Delta to cushion the effect of the stay at home ordered by the government and it was revealed that Ogoni youths were not captured in the distribution.
“As a body whose core essence is to protect the rights of her youths, we wrote to the commission, relying on relevant provisions of FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT. We, however, waited patiently for the commission as a responsible government agency to adhere to the provision of the said Act by writing back or furnish us the information as requested but all was to no avail.
“The president-General in a bid to exhaust all internal mechanisms was featured on Talk of the town, a radio program of Rhythm 93.7FM Port Harcourt, where he informed the general public of the injustice done to Ogoni youths and reiterated the stern resolve of OYF to judiciously follow up the matter to a logical conclusion.
“The appearance of the President-General was a display of the high level of decency, courtesy, and respect for constituted authority. He never disparaged, threatened nor made statement calculated to tarnish the image of Caroline Nagbo but to our greatest chagrin, the said Caroline Nagbo petitioned the DSS, alleging threat to life and other unsubstantiated claims upon which the DSS acted and unlawfully detained our president-general without due investigation.
“It’s worrisome and saddening that a law enforcement agency which is supposed to be professional and neutral in settling a dispute between parties would shamelessly descend into the arena to favor one side without recourse to the fundamental principle of fair hearing. This brutal, brash and uncouth act of the DSS is a pointer to the fact that Nigerians have lost confidence in our law enforcement agencies.
“Truth be told, OYF went on a voyage of findings and we gathered from the acting Managing director of the NDDC that thirty (30) chances were giving to Caroline Nagbo for Ogoni youths. We further called the special adviser to the acting managing director of NDDC on youths affairs, who affirmed the position of the managing director and categorically told us that the aide to Caroline Nagbo, Sogbeye Clement Eli presented a list of 25 names to the commission claiming that the list emanated from his madam (Caroline Barine Nagbo).
“To clear all doubt, we respectfully inquired from Mrs Caroline Barine Nagbo who denied knowledge of the palliative and said she was not consulted by the interim management committee of the commission despite being in charge of youth, women, sports and culture in NDDC. Since then, we have made concerted efforts to meet with her and possibly reconcile the list but she unjustly avoided us.
“This singular act leaves us with the conclusion that Mrs Caroline Nagbo betrayed Ogoni youths by whisking out what belongs to us to a Kalabari man, her purported special adviser. This being so, we are compelled to question the nativity of Mrs. Caroline, because an Ogoni woman is known to be compassionate, loving, caring, and prioritizes the interest of their own above others”.
The group also gave Mrs Caroline Barine Nagbo 48 hours ultimatum to withdraw her spurious petition and tender an unreserved apology to the entire Ogoni youths and Comrade Legborsi Yamaabana.
It said that the failure to comply with 1 above, it shall rely on the unfounded claims as contained in her petition to seek legal redress for the battered image and hard-earned reputation of our president.
It also called on the interim management committee of NDDC to publicly re-affirm its position that thirty (30) chances were giving to Caroline Nagbo so as to vindicate the President-General, safe him from DSS embarrassment and lay the matter to eternal rest.
It said failure to comply with the above, in ensuring accountability, probity, and transparency, it shall be constrained to petition the Economy and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and other anti-graft agencies of the financial malfeasance and recklessness in the commission, mobilize our rank and file and embark on a massive and never-seen-before protest to the commission, DSS and Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs.
“We call on the civil society organization and other youth and right groups in the Niger Delta to brace up and rise to the occasion to agitate for their interest, bearing in the heart that the commission was established for the sole purpose of the even and rapid development of the Niger Delta region”.