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Foreign, local media criminalizes Ijaw, Niger Delta struggle – IPF

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The National President of the Ijaw Publishers Forum, IPF, Comrade Austin Ozobo, on Thursday said foreign and local media had over the years criminalised the Ijaw struggle as well as that of the Niger Delta.

Ozobo made the assertion during his inaugural speech shortly after an eight man National Executive Council was inaugurated for the IPF.

He said, “Foreign media, without fear or favour, branded our freedom fighters as militants, kidnappers, sea pirates, hostage takers and oil thieves. All these were to criminalise the struggle and weaken its prospects.”

He noted that the Ijaw people are “agitators”, contrary to the ugly names the given to them by foreign media organisations.

“The criminalisation of our struggle by foreign media reduced support from the international community for our freedom.

“These unethical and inimical colorations further created room for the genocidal attacks and massacre in Ijaw land.

“This is the reason we have not made great positive impacts in our struggle for justice and total freedom as Ijaws and the Niger Delta people,” Opobo added.

Ozobo stressed the need for support for the IPF by all Ijaw sons and daughters within and outside Nigeria.

“The time has come for the Ijaws to build their own media. This should be a collective interest if all Ijaw leaders and stakeholders.

“The foreign media that some of us are still celebrating today were not built overnight; they had their challenges but overcame them,” he noted.

Other members of the newly inaugurated IPF executive include Comrade Onduku Oyinbi, Vice President; Comrade Magbei Tare, Secretary; Comrade Ezekiel Kagbala, Public Relations Officer; Comrade Mingo Friday, Treasurer; Comrade Ugedi Mike, Financial Secretary; Mr Francis Abai, Chief Research Officer and Prince (Dr) Peretengboro Clinton Bibaikefie, Assistant Public Relations Officer.

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