Ijaw youths from the nine states of the Niger Delta under the umbrella of the Ijaw Youths Council, Worldwide have called on the federal government to begin the process of implementing the 2014 National Conference report as part of measures to addressing the myriads of challenges confronting the nation.
The Ijaw youths also called for an independent judicial panel to investigate cases of violence and killings in some parts of the country during the #EndSARS protest including the beheading of Inspector Oliver Igbani, a police officer from Otuokpoti in Ogbia local government area of Bayelsa by irate pro-Biafra youths in Obigbo area of Port Harcourt in Rivers state.
The Spokesman for the IYC, Comrade Ebilade Ekerefe, while briefing journalists in Yenagoa on the state of the nation, said the answer to some of the #EndSARS unrest and other contentious issues experienced across the country can be quickly resolved with the implementation of federalism, resource control and restructuring.
According to him: “The Ijaw youths are unrepentant apostles of resource control. It is on this note, we support the gold mining of Zamfara state government as that is the hallmark of true federalism. All we ask for is that the Niger Delta people should also be allowed to control our oil and gas resources. It is double standard and provocative when the federal government criminalizes oil bunkering in the Niger Delta and support gold mining in Zamfara state”
“There’s no better time to restructure Nigeria than now. The agitations are unbecoming an the 2014 NATIONAL CONFAB REPORT has addressed the concerns of a restructured Nigeria. We therefore demand for its immediate implementation”.
“Nigeria is a country blessed with our diversities and if properly harnessed, it will be a better place for all. What breeds most of this agitations is the palpable political hegemony and dominance of a particular section of the Country. We therefore appeal strongly to Mr. President to swing into action to march words with actions by reorganizing the Country accommodate all the interests of every ethnic nationality. This is the only way out as the Country is still sitting on a time bomb”
Ekerefe, who also expressed dissatisfaction over the handling of the protests and also the hijack of the protest by the IPOB group, urged the President to constitute an Independent Judicial Panel of Inquiry to investigate the matter.
The IYC Spokesman said the youth body of the pan Ijaw socio-cultural group would not allow any secessionist group to cause chaos in Bayelsa and other Niger Delta States, frowning at the attacks on police and security agencies in Rivers State which led to the death of some policemen including an Inspector Mr. Oliver Igbani from Otuokpoti in Bayelsa State.
Ekerefe also described the frequent Military invasion of Ijaw Communities as unacceptable to the Ijaw Youth Council and decried the alleged planned retrenchment of workers by oil companies without recourse to the local content Act.
He further stated that the IYC views Gas flaring in the Niger Delta as scientifically dangerous to human health and the ecology which is affecting the life expectancy of the people, warning that the Council would not condone a continuation of the practice.
On the Niger Delta Maritime University at Okerenkoko in Delta State, the IYC Spokesman urged the President to sign the Bill it into law.
He also called on the Federal Government to take measures to tackle the devastating perennial flood and erosion disaster experienced by people of the Niger Delta region each year and ensure the distribution of relief materials and palliatives to victims to cushion the effects of the menace