By NBF News

Ahead the 2011 elections, the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) has cautioned its members against dragging the organization into partisan politics. The IYC said it is worried that members of the group were making public statements that indicated that they have dragged the IYC into partisan politics by endorsing some candidates in Delta State.

National spokesman of the IYC, Jeremiah Owoupele, in a statement made available to Sunday Sun, said none of the persons that have been making statements had the authority to speak on behalf of the group.

According to him, all the contending parties have been expressing their personal opinions on the fourth term ambitions of some politicians, which were not in any way endorsed by the IYC.

He appealed to members to support any politician of their choice, adding that the interest of the various constituencies should be of paramount interest. The statement reads in part: 'For the avoidance of doubt and record purposes, let it be known that neither of the contending parties had the express mandate or blessing of council to take such categorical positions.

'The aspirants are all Ijaw people and our mandate is to support every one of them. But this would be premised upon what their constituents feel about their aspirations and what they can offer to the Ijaw nation. Our duty therefore is to ensure a constructive engagement of these persons and guarantee that the best is elected under a free and fair internal democracy and credible elections.

'Consequently, the National Executive Council cautions all parties to stop the ongoing press war and support their individual candidates personally without using our most revered name of council. Council therefore would be ready to take punitive measures against anyone who further maligns our integrity.'