bIn a resolute proclamation, the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) Worldwide has declared its unwavering determination to vehemently oppose any potential efforts by the administration led by President Bola Tinubu to abolish the Niger Delta Ministry. This steadfast stance was resoundingly conveyed during a momentous press conference held in Warri on a recent Friday.
According to a press statement delivered by Princewill Binebai, the articulate spokesman of the IYC, this declaration carries far more weight than a mere threat; it embodies a solemn assertion that will undoubtedly come to fruition if circumstances take an unfavorable turn.
Binebai ardently called upon multinational oil corporations to brace themselves for the prospect of relocating their headquarters back to the Niger Delta region, the very birthplace of oil and gas extraction. He compellingly articulated that it is indefensible for oil to be extracted and exported from their homeland while royalties are disbursed to other states.
Highlighting the glaring inequity, Binebai underscored the plight of the Ijaw people residing in the Niger Delta region. Despite their substantial contributions to the nation’s economic and political fabric, they have been unjustly deprived of their rightful share of the resources derived from their own communities.
The spokesman emphasized the paramount importance of unity within the Ijaw community, echoing the sentiments of Prof. Dime, the founding President of the Ijaw National Congress (INC) in 1992, who aptly stated, “If Spiders Web Can Unite, They Can Tie Up A Lion.” This unity stands as the bedrock of the Ijaw people’s pursuit of a more prosperous future.
While reiterating the Ijaw people’s dedication to peaceful coexistence and their allegiance to a united Nigeria, Binebai stressed that this commitment must be complemented by principles of justice, fairness, equity, and political inclusivity.
Binebai lamented the prevailing pattern where most advancements and privileges directed towards the Niger Delta, particularly the Ijaw community, have been hard-won through persistent advocacy and unyielding struggle. He unequivocally declared that the Ijaw Youth Council will no longer tolerate the frequent intrusion of the Nigerian military into their territories, asserting that the Ijaw people deserve the respect befitting their role as integral stakeholders in the nation.
The spokesman further reiterated the Council’s determination to ensure justice is served for the tragic demise of Peterside Alafuro, an Ijaw individual from Rivers state, whose life was tragically cut short by a trigger-happy police officer. The IYC adamantly demands that this egregious act does not go unpunished.
As they navigate the path ahead, the Ijaw Youth Council remains committed to productive engagement with allies of the Ijaw people within Nigeria, while firmly opposing any adversaries that may seek to undermine the region and its populace.
The IYC also highlighted the ongoing legislative hurdles impeding the establishment of the Nigeria Maritime University (NMU) in Okerenkoko, Delta State. The Council urgently appealed for collaboration between the Federal Government, under President Bola Tinubu’s leadership, and the National Assembly to expedite the passage of this pivotal bill.
In conclusion, the Ijaw Youth Council stands resolute in safeguarding the rights and welfare of the Ijaw people, underscoring the fundamental principles of justice, equity, and unity that underpin their quest for progress.