Foremost Ijaw youth organisation, the Ijaw Youth Council Worldwide, has warned that agitations, including militancy in the Niger Delta region, will never end until President Muhammadu Buhari does the right thing. This, it said, requires the putting of machineries in place for the relevant constitutional amendment to revert Nigeria back to the practice of fiscal and true federalism or immediately began the implementation of the resolutions of the 2014 National Conference.
The group insisted that the only solution to intermittent crisis in the Niger Delta region, which have led to massive bombing of oil installations by militant groups, is for the APC-led government to address the resource control and ownership question which have been the remote cause of crisis in the delta.
IYC’s strongly-worded warning was contained in a communique signed by its President Comrade Udengs Eradiri and spokesman, Barr. Eric Omare, at the end of one-day stakeholders conference to mark the end of the month-long activities in honour of Major Jasper Adaka Boro. The communiqué of the conference which had as theme, “The Ideals of Isaac Boro and the Renewed Militancy in the Niger Delta” reads as follows:
The Way Forward
The conference observed that the renewed militancy in the region were the same issues that gave birth to the Late Major Adaka Boro’s struggles which cumulated into the twelve days revolution in the 1960’s.
It held that whereas the Presidential Amnesty programme of 2009 brought temporary peace to the Niger Delta region, however, after the cessation of hostilities in the region, the crucial issues of resource control and true federalism which formed the basis for the agitation were not addressed.
It observed among others things that most steps taken by the Buhari administration are geared towards antagonising and undermining the interest of the Niger Delta region including the removal of the 10% community development equity share from the Petroleum Industry Bill which it held have contributed to the present hostilities in the region.
IYC in its resolution emphasised that the attempt by the Federal Government to award surveillance contracts to ex-militants would not solve the problem of attack on oil facilities, maintaining instead that once issue of resource ownership and control is addressed, communities and the people would naturally protect oil pipeline situated in their communities as critical stakeholders.
It however added that the award of surveillance contracts, which it said is also a palliative measure, should be for any community chosen as contractors which, it insisted, are to be held liable for any breach of contract.
The conference criticised the APC-led Federal Government for allegedly politicising the issues affecting the region instead of dealing with the stakeholders on how to resolve the already delicate situation, urging the government to start the process of genuine dialogue with stakeholders in the Niger Delta region.
It urged President Buhari to stop treating the Niger Delta region as a conquered territory, emphasising its belief in a united Nigeria where every part of the country would be treated as equal stakeholders on the basis of fairness, equity and justice.
IYC further said that President Buhari must treat every part of the country as his constituents and equal stakeholders irrespective of their contribution to his electoral victory.
The group however frowned at alleged cancellation of the Maritime University, Okerenkoko, Delta State which it said form one of the conditions for ex-agitators to accept amnesty in 2009 by Honourable Minister of Transport, Hon. Rotimi Amaechi, stressing that the purported cancellation of the institution is a breach of the terms of the Presidential Amnesty Programme.
The conference however condemned the deafening silence of President Buhari on the issue of the Maritime University, Okerenkoko, Delta State despite protest by stakeholders against the decision of the Honourable Minister of Transport, urging the Federal Government to calm nerves of stakeholders in the region by directing the already constituted university governing
council to commence academic activities without delay.
The communique also noted that the conference resolved that the renewed militancy in the region is partly an indication of failings in the amnesty programme and therefore called on the federal government to review the programme to address all the issues affecting the successful implementation of the programme.
IYC also vowed to resist any attempt to single out former President Goodluck Jonathan for arrest and humiliation over spurious allegations of corruption in the APC-led government anti-corruption fight, urging President Buhari to accord Jonathan the same respect accorded other former Presidents, otherwise demonstrate his sincerity by first probing all former Presidents including Ibrahim Babangida, Abdulsalam Abubakar and Olusegun Obasanjo.
The conference maintained that if Buhari’s anti-corruption war was not selective, why has he not probe of the Halliburton scam and bring to justice all those involve including former Presidents.
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