Members of the Ijaw Youth Council Worldwide on Thursday staged a peaceful protest against the alleged prosecution of former President Goodluck Jonathan and his family in Yenagoa, capital city of Bayelsa state.
The youths blocked vehicular movements along Sani Abacha Road and Isaac Boro Expressway in the state.
The protesters also alleged that President Muhammadu Buhari has neglected the Niger Delta and has refused to fund projects in the region.
The protesters were carrying placards with inscriptions such as ‘Stop harassing Jonathan’s family’, ‘Leave Patience Jonathan alone’, ‘If you must probe Dame Patience Jonathan, all the former first ladies must be probed’, ‘We need projects in Niger Delta, not soldiers.’
Other inscriptions were, ‘LNG must be bought by Bonny people,’ ‘We are Ijaw youths, not criminals’, ‘EFCC, return Alamco’s property, don’t be biased,’ ‘Unfreeze Jonathan’s accounts’, among others.
President of the council, Udengs Eradiri while addressing the protesters said they were protesting the “constant harassment” of the ex-President and his family.
He said, “We want to ask Buhari to please focus on governance and stop vilifying the former first family. The economy has gone so bad because of the attitude of the EFCC when it concerns the Niger Delta people.
“Our appeal is that Buhari should please respect Jonathan, just as he respects the other former presidents.
“They have frozen his accounts, they are not paying his allowances, even the security agents around him do not get what is due them. We have yet to know why Buhari is victimising Jonathan and his family members.
“When you talk about the aggression towards Dame Patience Jonathan, she is not the first First Lady. She is wife to former deputy governor, governor, vice-president and President. Are you expecting her to be a poor woman?
“There are other former first ladies in this country. Recently, a former First Lady was awarded a university licence. Please and please, people can see that we are peaceful.
“We are using this medium to send a message: leave our former first family alone. Some people are not happy with Jonathan’s rising profile and they want to destroy it.”