Angry members of Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) have locked down the headquarters of Nigeria Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) in Yenagoa.
The youths occupied the office and pulled down a section of the fence of the building because NCDMB had opened new offices in Lagos and Abuja contrary to the provisions of the Local Content Act.
The Bayelsa Police Command has asked the youths to be calm.
The youths stormed the office located along Isaac Boro Expressway at about 9:45 am on Thursday and forced their way into the premises and pulled down a section of the fence.
The Chairman, IYC, Central Zone, Mr. Tari Porri, who led the protest, said the opening of the new NCDMB offices in Lagos and Abuja was contrary to Section 71, sub-section 3 of the NCDMB laws.
He stated that NCDMB Act empowered the Board to open offices only in oil and gas producing areas.
“This place has been left redundant and the Executive Secretary now operates from Lagos and Abuja and comes here only once in three months.
“This is unacceptable! The Executive Secretary should stay here with us; the NCDMB laws stipulate that offices should be opened in only oil and gas areas, but the board has gone ahead to open offices in areas such as Lagos and Abuja which are not oil and gas producing areas.’’
The state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Asuquo Amba, who arrived the scene urged the youths to remain calm and shun trouble.
“The state Governor, Seriake Dickson, is already aware of your grievances and he has promised to wade in the matter.
“I have to appreciate you for making this protest a very peaceful one, and I will still employ you to remain peaceful. But we should respect the sanctity of this place as the headquarters.
”I have listened to all your grievances. I am in touch with the state governor and I have spoken to him and if there is anybody to lead this protest, it is the state governor himself.
“The Governor has personally told me to come and address you, compile your grievances and forward them to him.
“The Executive Secretary of the Board has given me the assurance that all the issues that you have raised would be addressed and it would be addressed in such a way that we would have a peaceful environment,” he told the protesters.