Ini Billie, Uyo
A combined team of the Police, Army and Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) has dispelled youths with canisters of teargas protesting the non-payment of their five per cent of the 13 per cent oil derivation received by the Akwa Ibom State Government.
The youths who were dressed in black and white, and held a red and black flag stormed the Government House, along Wellington Bassey Way, Uyo, in their hundreds on Tuesday, demanding their share of the allocation.
The youths who comprised men and women under the auspices of the Ibom Youths Council (IYC), had to run for safety into adjourning streets and Ibom Plaza when they were teargassed.
One of the leaders, Comrade Victor Bassey James, Secretary of the Niger Delta Movement who spoke with journalists about the grievances said, “We have suffered a lot; our youths have not been empowered. That is why we’ve come en masse to make sure that the Governor looks into our matter.
“We are asking for five per cent out of the 13 per cent oil derivation. And they have said they would call us for dialogue. But failure to do that we will take another step”.
While addressing the protesters, Police Commissioner, Olatoye Durosinmi, alongside the Commander of the 2 Brigade of the Nigerian Army, his NSCDC counterpart and the Commissioner of Internal Security, Brig. Gen. Koko Essien (rtd), appealed for calm, and urged them to return home, assuring that Governor Umo Eno would address their grievances at the appropriate time.
The Police Public Relations Officer SP Odiko MacDon, explained that the teargas incident was borne out of the need to stop hoodlums trying to invade Government House from taking the laws into their own hands.
“Well, the truth of the matter is that they were addressed by the Commissioner of Police; the Commander 2 Brigade, and other sister agencies on the need to be peaceful.
“They were also addressed by the Commissioner for Internal Security, but they insisted that they have to access the Government House. That is why a commensurate force was used to disperse them. They have dispersed peacefully so there’s no need for anybody to worry,” he stated.