Ijaw youths back call for restructuring, threaten self determination

Posted by News Express | 18 July 2017 | 1,280 times

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The Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) has said that the Ijaw nation will resort to self-determination should the Federal Government reject the call for the restructuring of Nigeria.

The Chairman-elect, Central Zone of the IYC, Mr. Tari Porri, stated this on Monday at a news conference in Yenagoa, Bayelsa capital.

He rationalised that if the country was not ready for restructuring, the Ijaw would be left with no other option but to have total control of their resources.

Porri, accompanied by members of his newly-elected executives, said the Ijaw tribe was guided by the Kaiama Declaration, which, according to him, is founded on resource control and self-determination by any means necessary.

He called on Ijaw leaders to rally round Bayelsa Governor Seriake Dickson in presenting the Ijaw positions before the Nigerian state.

According to him, “The Ijaw position is that we are not scared of Nigeria’s breakup, but what we are saying is that if we must continue to live together as a nation, we must restructure.

“And if they are not ready for restructuring, we are saying that we want to have total control of our resources.

“By so doing, we are now resorting back to the philosophy guiding the Kaiama Declaration which is self-determination by all means necessary.

“So, we are saying that while we will continue to support the call that Nigeria should live together, we will not also hesitate to state that any attempt to think that we are weaker vessels, we will take the bull by the horn by telling the Nigerian state that the hour has come when we are no longer ready to continue with this marriage.

“But if the country is ready, then everybody must come to the roundtable with their demands and let’s resolve the Nigerian issues in order to move this country forward.”

Porri also condemned the attacks on military checkpoint by some youths a few days ago at Obubagbene, an Ijaw community in Delta State, where a soldier lost his life and military weapons stolen by the hoodlums.

He, however, expressed worry over the alleged invasion of some Ijaw communities by the military, lamenting that with the invasion, some of their communities had been sacked while women and children were being molested.

His words: “We are condemning the attack of the military checkpoint at Obubagbene in its entirety.

“However, that does not mean that the military should take laws into their hands by invading our communities.

“As we are talking, about five communities in Ekeremor Local Government Area of Bayelsa have been invaded by the military personnel.

“What we are saying is that this sort of military activities will call for a serious crisis that could get out of control.

“We are saying in a nutshell that please, while we are condemning the actions of those persons that perpetrated the evil, we are also saying that the actions and inactions of the military by going from community to community, molesting women and children is unacceptable.

“As I speak with you, most of the communities have been sacked by the military officers. Some of our people are living in the bush, some have moved out of their communities.

“We are saying we should come to a roundtable to look out for a means of resolving these issues without wasting time. The idea of continued invasion of Ijaw communities is unacceptable to the Ijaw nation.

“We want the Chief of Army Staff to quickly intervene in this matter because the moment it gets beyond this level, we can no longer guarantee the needed peace that we all collectively enjoy as a country,” he said

Source: News Express

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