From Tony John, Port Harcourt
The Ijaw Youths Council (IYC) Worldwide has warned blackmailers and mischief makers hiding under civil society organisations to steer clear of the Executive Secretary, Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Mr Simbi Wabote.
IYC President Peter Igbifa, in a statement, described attempts by such persons to tarnish the image of Wabote using a subjudiced matter in the United States of America (USA), as laughable, deceptive and childish.
Igbifa explained that no court in the USA had found Wabote guilty of any wrongdoing, saying persons behind reports accusing Wabote of perjury should be arrested and tried for causing public nuisance and civil unrest.
He described Wabote as a frontline Niger Delta son and an upright public servant, saying the persons raising unnecessary dust had no locus to make a defamatory suit filed by Wabote himself a matter of public discussion.
Igbifa said IYC had compiled the names of persons behind attempts to pull down Wabote, whom he described as one of the rising Ijaw stars, and warned them to tread cautiously or risked burning their fingers.
He said Wabote had repositioned and reformed the NCDMB making it the only agency without political interference and using it to champion development across the states in the country.
Igbifa said: “Wabote has made us proud as an Ijaw man. His professionalism in the management of the affairs of NCDMB is outstanding and his achievements as the Executive Secretary of the Board are extraordinary. Therefore, IYC under my leadership cannot allow any campaign of calumny designed by envious losers to embarrass him.
“NCDMB under Wabote is the only agency in the heart of Niger Delta that has operated without any political interference. Under Wabote’s NCDMB, youths across the country are trained, employed and empowered in various fields of endeavour. We won’t allow anybody to destroy the character of this performer.
“Recently, some IYC leaders from Central Zone were given leadership training by NCDMB. Also, over 100 youths are undergoing boat operation training in Delta State. Wabote’s NCDMB has given numerous skill acquisition training to many Niger Delta and Nigerian youths.”
Igbifa said persons angry with Wabote because they had yet to directly benefit from NCDMB should retrace their steps and consider the general interest of the region.
He advised Wabote not to be discouraged by the antics of desperadoes and called for synergy from all stakeholders to tackle the challenges facing the Niger Delta.