Armed Ijaw youths invade Ben Bruce’s radio station in Bayelsa

Some members of the Ijaw Youth Council Worldwide (IYC) on Thursday, invaded Rhythm FM radio station in Yenogoa, Bayelsa over internal scuffles within the leadership ranks of the group.

The radio station, Rhythm FM, is owned by Senator Ben Murray Bruce who on Thursday forfeited his company, Silverbird groups to the Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria over an unserviced N11 billion loan.

The IYC youths stormed the radio station in large numbers after two of their executive members appeared as guests on a live radio programme, Talk of the Town, anchored by Lishman Onisodemuya.

The youths shot several times into the air forcing the workers in the radio and television studios of the Silverbird Group to run for safety.

The rampaging invaders broke into the radio station, cut short the live programme and manhandled the National Mobilisation Officer of IYC, Wisdom Ikuli and Mike Edounkimor, a self-acclaimed spokesperson for the Council – who were the guests in the radio show.

The duo were reportedly beat to a pulp by the irate youths and left with bruises and deep cuts.

The quick appearance of riot policemen stopped the youths from bundling the duo into one of the vehicles they came in.

Some of the youths took advantage of the chaos to strip the workers at the radio station of their money and other valuables.

The radio studio was temporarily shut down but not before listeners heard people screaming and running for cover.

The violent showdown is believed to be in connection to the leadership crisis currently rocking the IYC.

The crisis started when 6 out of the 10-member executive council said the IYC President, Udengs Eradiri, and the council’s spokesman, Eric Omare, had been suspended.

The document purportedly suspending Eradiri and Omare was signed by the National Secretary-General, Bristol-Alagbariye Emmanuel; Director of Mobilisation, Wisdom Ikuli; Legal Adviser, Ekine Egberekro; Assistant Secretary, Deinkoro George; National Women Leader, Felicia Ngeri; and Financial Secretary, Kemepado Alfred.

The disgruntled members accused Eradiri and Omare of highhandedness and financial misappropriation and went further to replace them with Elvis Donkemezuo and Edounkimor

However, the Speaker of IYC Mobile Parliament, Mkpon Ijonama, dismissed the reports of the suspension as handiwork of a few misguided members of the IYC executives.

The IYC parliament is responsible for the sanctioning of deviant members of the council.

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