Ijaw Youths from the Nine States of the Niger Delta region have threatened to re-enact the 12 days revolution declared in 1966 by the ijaw hero, Major Isaac Jasper Adaka Boro to secede from Nigeria in protest against neglect and deprivation of the region by the Federal Government, declaring that the only way to stop need to secede is for President Muhammadu Buhari administration to immediately constitute the Substantive board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), proper restructuring and true federalism..
The Ijaw Youths, under the umbrella body of the Ijaw Youths Council worldwide, said though the Niger Delta region have remained peaceful despite the clamored to draw attention to the plight of the Niger Delta region, the continued refusal of the Buhari administration to accede to the Niger Delta people demands may force the region re-enact the drama which led to the “12 days revolution” declaration of a republic against injustice, lack of fair play in infrastructural development and political status of the region.
The Leadership of the Ijaw Youths Council through its spokesman, Comrade Ebilade Ekerefe in a statement in Yenagoa to commemorate the 53rd remembrance of the Ijaw hero, Major Isaac Jasper Adaka Boro, said the region is ready to confront the President Buhari led administration if it fails to respect the 30 days ultimatum handed the Federal Government on the 25th of April,2021.
According to Ekerefe, “We should not also forget his vision of a Niger Delta Region that should be economically independent to transform its landscape with its resources which many believed were being used to develop other parts of the country at the expense of the Niger Delta. Boro, like the Ijaw Youths, clamored and drew attention to the plight of the Niger Delta region, and possibly, set it free from the dominance of other major ethnic groups”.
“Boro’s vision, and the visions of our fore fathers, seems to have moved from violent revolution, armed agitation to intellectual agitations. But the Nigerian Government seems to have developed a “steel heart” towards the calls by the people of the Niger Delta region. Despite their colored and window dressing of the issues in response to years of agitation, and the ego creation of interventionist agencies, which they acceded to and now controlled politically and financially, the Federal Government has become a “Pharaoh” to the Niger Delta people. They created the NDDC, the Presidential Amnesty Programme and few others to corrupt the political class in the region and weaken this institutions”.
“The Ijaw Youths Council (IYC), with the support of critical stakeholders, have never taken the issues bedeviling our region with kid gloves. We have agitated through successive National Executives of Council to clamor for the needed change that will fully actualize the vision of our hero- Major Isaac Jasper Adaka Boro.We also want to inform you, gentlemen of the Press, that the 30 days ultimatum handed President Muhammadu Buhari led Federal Government on April 25th still subsists. We are ready and will not back down from demanding the immediate reconstitution of the Substantive board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC)”.
“We have stated that the people of the region took strong exception to the politics of personal interests that has delayed the inauguration of a substantive Board. When it comes to the issue of the Niger Delta people, the response is politicized. What is forensic audit that PWC (Price Water House Coopers) didn’t do in NNPC? Did the Board step aside? No!. The Board was there, investigations were done, and they did their report.”
“ If the frivolous excuse of the Buhari led administration on NDDC is Forensic Audit. What excuse would they present for the delay in the completion of the East-West road. Many travelers have died irrespective of their status. And many are still dying due to the deplorable condition of the road.”At the Presidential Amnesty office, the status of the substantive head has become interim with policy formulation handed to a stranger from the North under the cloak of the National Security Adviser. And the ex-agitators subjected to frequent change in policy and funding review”.
“As a Council, and towing the line of our visionary hero, Jasper Adaka Boro. We are warning that despite our love for peace, may the Federal Government not let the region re-enact the drama which led to the “12 days revolution” against injustice, lack of fair play in infrastructural development and political status of the region. So far, the Ijaw Youths Council under the leadership of Deacon Timothy Igbefa would like to commend the South-South Governors position on some of the issues raised by the 17 Southern Governors in Asaba, Delta State. We commend them because some of the positions advocated by the Southern Governors are off-shoot of the position held by the South-South Governors under the vibrant leadership of His Excellency, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa”.
“We want to specially commend the Bayelsa Governor, His Excellency, Senator Douye Diri for sustaining the peace of the only homogeneous Ijaw state. As Council, we reassure him and leaders of Ijaw Nation of our commitment towards a united Ijaw Nation and emphatically state that no Ijaw territory within the Nigerian state can be conquered under our watch as steps are already been taken by the IYC to resist any external aggressors and expansionist groups and defend our ancestral land and heritage and we urge other ethnic nationalities within the region to do same”.
“We frown at the inability of the President Muhammadu Buhari’s government to secure the Nation. Nigeria is more divided under him along ethno-religious lines as his body language emboldens the rampaging Fulani herdsmen to reign havoc and terror against defenseless farmers and citizens of this Country with bracing impunity. The wanton killings by Boko haram, Bandits and herdsmen has gotten to a crescendo and if the president does not rise up to the occasion as a fair and liberal leader, he may wake up one morning to find out that Nigeria is history under his watch”.
“We condemn in its strongest terms the killings of police officers and the wanton destruction of police stations in the South East, and most recently, in Rivers state by unknown gunmen. We sympathize with the families of those who’ve lost loved once and especially, the government and people of Rivers state for the insecurity challenges they currently face. Our prayers and thoughts are with them in this trying times while calling on the federal government to strengthen security and motivate security personnel’s who’ve put their lives on the line to do the job more effectively”.
“The agitations for secession in some parts of the country as a result of the perceived expansionists’ agenda by the Fulani caliphate is taking a dangerous dimension and we believe there’s no better time to restructure this country than now. The president should as a matter of urgency call for a national dialogue which will serve as a roadmap towards the total restructuring of Nigeria that will reflect the principles of true fiscal federalism. The 1999 constitution as amended is lopsided and it cannot guarantee equity, fairness and justice”.
On President Buhari’s orders to review the security architecture in the south-south, the Ijaw Youths Councill commended President Buhari but insisted that more attention should be paid to the northeast and northwest where Boko Haram and armed bandits are killing people on a daily bases,” The president should focus more on regaining the confidence of the Nigeria people who voted him into power instead of playing politics. We believe strongly that the president is not bothered about insecurity in the south south because of the safety of our people, but rather because of the oil and gas infrastructure in the Niger Delta region”.
“It is worthy to note that the Niger Delta is the most secured region in the country that is why the oil production capacity of the country is still stable. This is not rocket science. This is as result of stakeholders engagement and the time to review our strategy is also gradually emerging as evidence shows the federal government is only interested in our oil and not the environment, our development and the safety of our people. And for the International Oil Companies (IOCs), the Council states that they are the greatest beneficiaries of the sustained peace in the region and the same time will become the greates losers if the region boils. The Council therefore urges them to meet up to the GMOU’s agreements they undertake with the host communities, own up to oil spillage occurrences and make efforts to remediate the environment, build capacities of youths, adhere to the local content law and stop gas flaring. This is the only guarantee to peace in the region”.
The IYC also comended the peaceful conduct of the elections that led to the emergence of the Prof. Okaba led National Executive of the Ijaw National Congress (INC), saying “With their emergence, the need for the convocation of an Ijaw Summit is NOW!. The Ijaw Ethnic Nationality need to come together and marshal a way forward to confront the various issues in a more aggressive way. Typically, revolutionaries are often regarded as villains by the establishment but often esteemed as heroes by those whom they stand for. 53 years down the road, the region will not stop from agitating and demanding the Federal Government to do the needful in the areas of proper restructuring, review of derivation fund, sharing of development and resource control”.
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