Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has stated why he took a neutral position in
last weekend’s election of the Ijaw nation’s foremost youth group, the Ijaw Youth Council,
Governor Diri said rather than interfere, his administration was more concerned about de-
politicising the umbrella bodies that represent the Ijaw nation, particularly the IYC and the
Ijaw National Congress, INC.
He spoke on Tuesday at the Government House in Yenagoa when former INC and IYC
leaders visited him to introduce the newly elected IYC National President, Peter Timothy
The election held in Oporoza, Delta State, was described as free and credible without any
interference from the Bayelsa governor, whose state is regarded as the Jerusalem of the
Ijaw nation.
He noted that his decision was hinged on his administration’s deliberate principle of non-
alignment and non-interference in the organisations and organs of Ijaw unity and
Senator Diri emphasised that having played key roles in the history and progress of the
INC, he was not ready to midwife a repeat of what had divided the Ijaw people in the past.
He said soon his government would convene an all-Ijaw leadership summit.
His words: “What this administration is doing is to depoliticise the Ijaw Youth Council and
the Ijaw National Congress. That is the only way we can move forward in the environment
that we find ourselves in the current Nigerian state.
“We cannot afford to have an acrimonious IYC. We cannot afford to continue to have a
divided, factionalised and acrimonious INC. Therefore, this is the beginning of the
depoliticisation of our supra-Ijaw organisations.
“This brings me to the current factionalised and fractionalised INC. Let me state that this
government, which is the government of the Ijaw people, is thinking and planning an all-Ijaw