BY Emmanuel Addeh in Yenagoa
The President of the Ohanaeze Youth Council (OYC) in Bayelsa State, Mr Chinedu Arthur-Ugwa, at the weekend decried the ‘divide and rule’ tactics deployed by Igbo indigenes appointed as Special Advisers to Governor Seriake Dickson.
Arthur-Ugwa, who spoke in Yenagoa, said the practice of bypassing duly elected leaders of Igbo people in the state, when major decisions affecting the Igbo people in the state are to be taken, is condemnable.
According to him, being picked as a Special Adviser on Igbo matters in Bayelsa does not confer on the person as leader of the Igbo people in the state, arguing that the role is just as a go-between who should mediate between the state government and the Igbo residents in the state.
“The Igbo people in government house (Bayelsa) are not helping matters. They are going into the government house with fake Igbo people, calling them the leaders. They should be careful about that.
“They go to government house with suspended youth leaders , which is not right. And after they have such illegal meetings, they will say they called me and I didn’t come. That I was not there,” he said.
He added that while the priority of the appointees should be to seek peace between the Igbo people and their hosts, they have resorted to playing politics with the unity of the people.
“Even if you don’t like the face of the person, what we are talking about is how to bring peace. They are playing bad politics. And we are the ones doing the whole work. This is not about money,” he argued.
The youth leader who was speaking against the backdrop of efforts to restore peace between the Igbo people and Ijaw in the state, following the killing of an 18-year-old by her alleged Igbo lover, which sparked violent protests, said rather than pursue narrow interests , the appointees should seek the overall interest of the Igbo in the state.
“Let them go through the right people. These people who have appointments from the governor should not destabilise us instead of uniting us. They should be in the middle as go-between.
“An SA chosen among us is not the Igbo leader in the state. Let them do the work they were chosen to do. There work is to act as go-between. These people are breaching the peace. Let them stop instigating crisis”, he maintained.
He, however, commended Ijaw (Biogbolo) leaders in the state for handling the disagreement arising from the killing of the youngster with maturity.
He said: “We will keep building bridges, working tirelessly to ensure that people move around without hindrance and I have to say that the youths and the chiefs have shown maturity.”