IJAW youths from across the Niger Delta weekend their readiness to confront the federal government over the region’s demand for resource control in line with the practice of true federalism and the continued militarisation of Ijawland and the Niger Delta communities.
Rising from a consultative meeting held in Yenagoa, the youths under the auspices of the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) worldwide also listed the contentious water resources bill, gas flaring in the troubled region among as some of the issues that were deliberated on.
However, the meeting, chaired by the President of the IYC, Comrade Peter Igbifa and attended by the zonal leaders and elders of the council, including past presidents and deputy presidents of the council, resolved that a final position on their demand for equity and justice will be unveiled at the end of the ongoing consultations with various ethnic groups and governors.
Speaking at the end of the meeting, Comrade Igbifa, said though the council is undergoing a consultation with Ijaw stakeholders, Ijaw youths are ready to take their destiny into their hands and confront the Federal Government on the contentious issues of true federalism, restructuring and the militarization of the Ijaw communities.
“As the fourth largest ethnic nationality in the country, we have a wide range of consultation to do. For sure, we have issued statements and taken a position that our people should take their destiny in their own hands.
“We have said the issue of resource control is key to us. God not being mad has gone to Zamfara to give them gold and help them to tap their resources and sell. So, we are also preparing ourselves to take our crude oil in our own hands and sell our crude oil to make our society what it ought to be.
“And the consultations is preparing our house and putting ourselves ready for what is ahead of us. We have said severally that no life will be lost in the course of taking our destiny in our own hands. In our last meeting, I said the military should not prepare for war because with these consultations we want to put an end to the militarization of Ijaw communities.
“The military excesses have become unbearable and under the guise of chasing oil criminals, they go around Ijaw communities and burn down homes. They run around freely in Ijaw communities and burn down houses. They have taken away the people’s rights and destroy the ecosystems. Then they come again and chase the people.
“When you say there are criminals in Ijaw communities, you can go there and let us see the criminals. We say there should be no more razing down of Ijaw communities. You saw what the #EndSARS protesters pushed for? It was an end to brutality. So, we have suffered more than any other ethnic group when it comes to the brutal force of the military on communities.”
Also speaking, the Spokesman of the IYC, Comrade Ebilade Ekerefe noted that the position of Ijaw youths on various contentious issues of resource control, restructuring and many other will be a watershed for the country in the next few weeks.
“Nigeria at the moment is at a cross road and the Ijaw youths are ready to make their demands known to the Federal Government. The Ijaw youths are more ready and united to confront the challenges in the next few weeks,” he said.