Friday, June 24, 2016

Ijaw youths invade Murray-Bruce’s Bayelsa radio station

There was rancour in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State capital, on Thursday, following an armed invasion of Rhythm FM radio station, owned by Senator Ben Murray-Bruce, by some members of the Ijaw Youth Council Worldwide.

The angry youth, who stormed the studio in buses and other vehicles, were after two executive members of the IYC and guests of a live radio programme, Talk of the Town, anchored by Lishman Onisodemuya.


They invaded the station in large numbers, causing panic as they released volleys of gunshots into the air and forcing employees in both the radio and television studios of the Silverbird Group to scamper for safety.


Brandishing other dangerous weapons, they broke into the radio studio, interrupted the programme and dragged out the National Mobilisation Officer of IYC, Mr. Wisdom Ikuli, and a self-acclaimed spokesman for the council, Mike Edounkimor, who were guests of the programme.

It was learnt that the youth allegedly beat Ikuli and Edounkimor to stupor, with bruises all over their faces.

The youth had allegedly attempted to bundle them (Ikuli and Edounkimor) into one of the vehicles but for the intervention of riot policemen who came in the nick of time.

Similarly, before the arrival of the police, the mob had capitalised on the situation to rob employees of the studios of their money, mobile handsets and other valuables, it was learnt.

The radio studio was temporarily shut down after listeners heard people screaming and running for cover.

But the policemen, who arrived the area, were said to have arrested and handcuffed the duo and took them to the Ekeki Police Station, in Yenagoa.

IYC was recently thrown into crisis following the claims of six out of the 10-member executive council that the IYC President, Mr. Udengs Eradiri, and the council’s spokesman, Mr. Eric Omare, had been suspended.

The document purportedly suspending Eradiri and Omare was signed by the National Secretary-General, Bristol-Alagbariye Emmanuel; Director of Mobilisation, Wisdom Ikuli; Legal Adviser, Ekine Egberekro; Assistant Secretary, Deinkoro George; National Women Leader, Felicia Ngeri; and Financial Secretary, Kemepado Alfred.

The aggrieved executive members accused Eradiri and Omare of highhandedness and financial misappropriation. They went further to claim that they had replaced Eradiri and Omare with  Elvis Donkemezuo and Edounkimor respectively.

But the Speaker of IYC Mobile Parliament, Mr. Mkpon Ijonama, said reports that Eradiri and Omare had been suspended were the handiwork of a few misguided members of the IYC executives.

IYC Parliament is saddled with the responsibility of sanctioning errant members of the council.

Ijonama said the persons bandying the suspension document failed to follow the procedures contained in Article 10 of the IYC Constitution.

He said, “We have a procedure as an entity and if you go to Article 10 of the Constitution of Ijaw Youth Council, it spells boldly and clearly a procedure in which one can be suspended or removed from the council. None of the procedures were met before the so-called suspension on  the social media.”

But trouble was said to have started on Thursday when Ikuli appeared on the programme to respond to issues raised by Eradiri, who on Wednesday, was a guest of the same programme.

Ikuli was said to have invited violence when he announced on radio that Eradiri and Omare had been removed and warned them to stop parading themselves as the President and spokesman of  the IYC.

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