Abuja—The Abuja/Northern Chapter of the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) has condemned the Bayelsa State Commissioner for Industry, Trade and Investment, Hon. Federal Otokito Oparminola for allegedly wanting to forcefully evacuate the occupants (Bayelsans) of a state-owned property in Abuja, the nation’s capital.
The IYC maintained that while the commissioner purportedly said the property has been rented out to an investor, he handed N200,000 each to a selected few out of the three hundred occupants of the property and ordered them to leave the building.
In a statement signed by the chairman of the IYC, Adam Ogumogu Marbo and its secretary, Churchill O. Amiekumo on Saturday in Abuja, the organization said it refused to believe that the actions of Oparminola have the backing of Governor Douye Diri.
The body said the evacuation order is coming at a time when the cost of living is at its highest point in the country, adding that the N200,000 given to some of the occupants will not even suffice to transport their belongings back to Bayelsa.
“We in strong terms condemn the action carried out by the Commissioner for Industry Trade and Investment Bayelsa State Hon. Federal Otokito Oparminola towards trying to evacuate Bayelsans forcefully from a property they have been occupying for over 10yrs.
“In a place like Abuja where accommodation goes above six hundred thousand naira (N600,000) for a self contain, Hon. Federal Otokito selected few persons out of the over 300 hundred persons living in that property and gave them two hundred thousand naira (N200,000) to evacuate their property that it has been leased to an investor.
“We refuse to allow the Hon. Commissioner for Industry Trade and Investment soil the hard earned reputation of His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Bayelsa State, Sen. Douye Diri by making the people believe the governor made such approval for him to evacuate Bayelsans at this most difficult and critical time in our nation where the cost of living is at an alarming rate with just the sum of two hundred thousand naira that would not be enough to transport their belongings back to Bayelsa state,” the statement reads partly.
The IYC while stating that it played major roles in Diri’s emergence previously as senator and now governor, called on the Bayelsa State helmsman to intervene and caution the commissioner in respect of the matter.
According to the IYC, “We are using this medium to call on the miraculous governor of Bayelsa State, Douye Diri to wade into this issue with meekness and call his commissioner to order.
“This is because Hon. Federal Otokito was not in Abuja when the Bayelsa community in Abuja mobilized massively to join His excellency to pick forms for both Senate and governor respectively and subsequently followed him down to Bayelsa and voted for him on the both occasions of which the Governor made buses available to convey his people to and fro.”