There was a protest in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa capital on Thursday as hundreds of members of the Ijaw Youth Council expressed their disapproval over the controversy surrounding Patience Jonathan, the wife of former Nigerian president, Goodluck.
The protest disrupted human and vehicular movements along Sani Abacha Road and Isaac Boro Expressway in the capital right from 8am when the protest began.
They alleged that the former first family was being persecuted by the incumbent government.
Recently the Economic and FInancial Crimes Commission (EFCC) froze some accounts containing millions of dollars belonging to the former first lady.
Most members of the group chanted protest songs with placards bearing 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’, and ‘We need projects in Niger Delta, not soldiers.’
Addressing co-protesters in front of Ijaw House, the headquarters of IYC, the President, IYC, Mr. Udengs Eradiri, said the protest was to send a message to the Federal Government about the attitude of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission towards the former first family.
He said the country had produced many first ladies, but the only one from the Niger Delta is being “constantly harassed by the EFCC.”
Eradiri called on Buhari to accord some respect to Jonathan, whom he said handed over to him peacefully.
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.”