By Emma Amaize
IJAW youth in the western zone rose from an emergency meeting, weekend, insisting on restructuring of the country and demilitarization of Niger Delta creeks.
They also called for true federalism, resource control and stoppage to gas flaring by multinational oil companies.
In a communique by the secretary, Ijaw Youth Council, IYC, Mr. Frank Pukon and others, they said said: “As we console the families of the deceased in the EndSARS protests, we use this medium to call on the Nigerian government to restructure this defective country. Restructuring is the only way for all Nigerians to live in peace and pursue their economic, political and cultural annexation.”
“The Niger Delta people demand a full package of resource control where our economic and cultural potentials will be harnessed. If Zamfara can control her gold, Niger Delta should without any further ado be allowed to control her oil, as that is a hallmark of true federalism. What is good for the goose is equally good for the gander.
“For the federal government to pursue far reaching and holistic peace in the Niger Delta region, peace-building capacity should be intensified to boost our people’s confidence. This means, henceforth, there should be total demilitarization of our creeks with no military brutality and setting of our villages ablaze. We have endured this injustice for so long and it should be put to a stop.
“Even with our oil, we still feel the negative impact of gas flaring and environmental degradation. Gas flaring is below international best practice as it contributes in no little way to the health challenges of oil bearing countries. We, therefore, will no longer tolerate this wickedness from the oil companies,” they stated.
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On the gruesome killings of Nigerian youth by security agents, Ijaw youth deplored the act, suing for restraint and order.
“The Ijaw youth, western zone, believes that Nigeria’s fledgling democracy can only be sustained, where all Nigerians participate legitimately in good governance; regardless of religious beliefs, tribes or political ideologies.
“This, therefore, means that there will be legitimate protests, freedom of speech and freedom after the speech, which are cardinal democratic ethos.
“So, we wholeheartedly endorse the #EndSARS protest that is gradually snowballing into a full revolutionary movement, by patriotic and courageous Nigerian youth hoping for a better country.
“We, however, note and believe the #EndSARS protest is a clarion call for justice to the Ijaw people of the Niger Delta region, where our only crime was to advocate for the control of our God-given resources.
“Having seen or felt this worrisome development, we thus resolve to engage the federal government intellectually on how true federalism and resource control, demilitarizing the creeks as well as stoppage of gas flaring in the Niger Delta will restore amity, peace and development,” they said.
Vanguard News Nigeria