From Tony John, Port Harcourt
The organ of the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) Worldwide in charge of the organisational structure of the body, Council of Ogbos, has disowned the acting Chairman of the Council’s Eastern Zone, James Tobin, over his publication calling for the immediate sack of the Sole Administrator, Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Effiong Akwa, and the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs Godswill Akpabio.
The Ogbos, also known as the Council of Organisational Leaders (COOL), claimed that Tobin had no authority to issue statements using IYC since his tenure has expired and his leadership dissolved.
The Leader of COOL, John Amos Benjamin, said the publication from Tobin that called for the removal of Akwa and Akpabio was embarrassing, urging the public to ignore it.
Benjamin said: ‘On 11th December 2020, IYC, Eastern Zonal stakeholders’ meeting was held at the Presidential Hotels. It was decided at the meeting that the tenure of Tobin James, who was till then the Acting Chairman, had elapsed and the council was dissolved following a motion.
’20th December 2020, was unanimously agreed for a zonal congress. We officially set up the Zonal Electoral Committee (ZECO) to facilitate a transition in line with the great Okochiri Peace Treaty (OPT).
‘We want to put on record that the tenure of Tobin James expired a long time ago. The constitution binding Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) Worldwide, states clearly that the tenure of office for national, zonal, chapter, clan, regions/diaspora executives and parliamentarians shall be three years of one term.
‘The immediate past executive committee led by Comr Samuel George was inaugurated on 30th November 2017. James the outgone Acting Chairman deputized George and was given legitimacy to become the acting chairman after the historic OPT when his principal resigned to vie for a national position.
‘But James no longer has the authority to write any official letter on behalf of the council. It is gross misconduct and disciplinary actions will be meted on him appropriately,’ he stated.
Benjamin further said that in line with the Okochiri Peace Treaty, COOL had named Ibim Ibiwari as the acting chairman of the Eastern zone, noting that Tobin was an impersonator.
‘There isn’t supposed to be a vacuum in leadership. It is the unanimous responsibility of COOL in line with the directives of the National Executive Council (NEC), ably led by the 8th President, Peter Timothy Igbifa, to fill the vacuum.
‘To this end, we implore the presidency, and as well as the general public to kindly disregard the purported document and their bias position. Their act is mischievous and attention-seeking. Some of the signatories have distanced themselves from such a document. COOL, sincerely apologizes to the relevant authorities and entities, for the embarrassment this may have caused them.’
Tobin said in a reaction that he remains the chairman of the Eastern zone of IYC.
He said that the IYC does not have any apex organ known as Council of Ogbo, adding that the members were impersonators.
‘Those people are impersonators. We do not have anybody known as Ogbos. I will advise you to ignore them and leave the report,’ he stated.