The Ijaw Youth Council Worldwide (IYC) has warned that it will not allow any secessionist group such as the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra to cause chaos in Bayelsa and other Niger Delta states in the name of #EndSARS protests.
The group also frowned at the attacks on police and security agencies in Rivers State which led to the death of some policemen including Mr Oliver Igbani, a police inspector from Otuokpoti in Bayelsa State.
Spokesman for the IYC, Comrade Ebilade Ekerefe, stated these at a press conference on the state of the nation in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State capital, Tuesday.
He, therefore, called on the Federal Government to begin the process of implementing the 2014 National Conference report as part of measures to address the myriad of challenges confronting the country.
He 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 Mr Oliver Igbani, a police inspector from Otuokpoti in Ogbia Local Government Area of Bayelsa State by irate pro-Biafran youths in Oyigbo area of Port Harcourt in Rivers State.
He said the answer to some of the #EndSARS unrest and other contentious issues experienced across the country could be quickly resolved with the implementation of issues bordering on federalism, resource control and restructuring.
He stated: “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 criminalises 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 and the 2014 national conference report has addressed the concerns of restructuring in Nigeria. We, therefore, demand 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 match words with actions by reorganizing the country to 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 with the handling of the protests and the alleged hijack of the protest by the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra, urged President Muhammadu Buhari to constitute an independent judicial panel of inquiry to investigate the matter.
Ekerefe also described the frequent military invasion of Ijaw communities as unacceptable to the council, decrying the alleged planned retrenchment of workers by multinational oil companies without recourse to the local content act.
He further said the IYC viewed 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 experienced by people of the region each year and ensure the distribution of relief materials and palliatives to victims to cushion the effects of the menace. (The Nation)
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