Peter Timothy Igbifa, President of Ijaw Youths Council (IYC) Worldwide has regained freedom after being “abducted” while on his way to the airport for a trip to Abuja.
Igbifa was declared missing, a day to the the mass protest the youth body declared over President Muhammadu Buhari’s delay in constituting a substantive board for the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
The IYC President who disclosed that the assailants set him free on Wednesday night, alleged that the gunmen had demanded a cancellation of the protest.
He further revealed that with the help of persons who recognised him, he was able to get to the Bayelsa State Police Headquarters in Yenagoa where he was debriefed by the police commissioner. Igbifa also met with Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri who he said was worried over his ordeal.
The IYC President said;
“I didn’t know the places they took me to because I was blindfolded. All they wanted me to do was to call off the protest. They wanted me to do a video asking the youths to back down.
“But I told them that I already did a video in the morning asking them to go ahead with the protest even if I was kidnapped, arrested or killed.
“They became frustrated when they saw the protest going on at many places in the region. I also told them that I won’t betray the principles of our struggle.
“I am more than ever determined to continue with the protest. My experience has not intimidated me and the protest will be more intensed
“Whatever meeting they held without me is null and void. I didn’t authorise the meeting and its outcome is not binding on IYC and the Ijaw nation. We have taken a decision and that is final. It is a board or nothing.
“What are they even doing in Abuja? I know the kind of pressure I faced and bogus offers I got to frustrate this protest, but I turned down all of them because I can’t betray my people and the Niger Delta must move forward. Therefore, they are on their own.”
Police spokesperson in the state, SP Asinim Butswat confirmed the release, saying he was found at Kaiama in Kolokuma/Opokuma Local Government at about 10pm on Wednesday May 26.