Posted by News Express | 5 February 2014 | 3,530 times
Youths of the Urhobo Nation under the aegis of Coalition of Urhobo Nation Youth Leaders and Stakeholders (CUNYLS) have demanded that President Goodluck Jonathan be re-elected during the 2015 general elections.
The youths led by a civil rights activist, Mr. Rex Anigboro, tabled the demand yesterday when they went on a peaceful protest march to the Asokoro residence of elder statesman and First Republic Minister of Information, Chief Edwin Clark, and leader of the Niger Delta Peoples Volunteer Force, Alhaji Mujahid Dokubo Asari.
They also demanded the freedom of incarcerated former Governor of Delta State, Chief James Onanefe Ibori, who is serving imprisonment in the United Kingdom.
Other demands include the creation of Urhobo State, ministerial and other federal appointments for qualified Urhobo people, pardon for Kelvin Onairah and justice for the extra-judicially murdered Chief Ogbe Onokpite who was buried just last December – two years after his assassination.
Adorned in colorful T-shirts with the inscription ‘Proudly Urhobo’, the youths defied heavy security challenges and peacefully marched through the streets of Abuja.
They brandished placards with inscriptions such as: “2015, on Goodluck Jonathan we stand”, “Mr. President, Urhobo Youths support National Conference”, “Urhobo demands her right of place and due recognition”, Delta 2015, Urhobo governorship Non-negotiable” and “Mr. President, Urhobo youths plead for the release of James Ibori, pardon please.”
Others are: “Mr. President, please do not undermine the over three million Urhobo nation votes”, “We demand Justice for the extra judicially murdered Ogbe Onokpite”, “Mr. President, Urhobo nation deserves ministerial and other federal appointments”, “Urhobo youths demand for the freedom of Kelvin Onairah” and “Urhobo Nation the fifth largest ethnic group have little or no federal presence, we demand a better deal”.
The youths stated that the Urhobo Nation feels grossly marginalised and utterly neglected. They also made it known that there is great disillusionment and disenchantment in the Urhobo Nation over the near-erosion of Urhobo economy and political relevance.
Speaking at the residence of Papa E.K. Clark, Comrade Anighoro declared on behalf of the youths their continuous unwavering support for the Presidency of Dr. Goodluck Jonathan whom they considered as the symbol of equal opportunity for all and freedom from dominance by self-styled born-to-rule proponents.
The youths called on Jonathan to make haste to declare his intention to re-contest as, in their opinion, he is the best performing President Nigeria has ever had. They also called on former Heads of State and Presidents to queue behind him for his re-election and refrain from unstatesmanly acts suggestive of mischief and blackmail. They however demanded for the Urhobo Nation to be recognised as equal developmental partners in the Nigeria Union.
The Urhobo youths eulogised Hon. Kingsley Kuku, whom they commended for his performance as Special Adviser on Niger Delta to Mr. President. They stated that his management of the Amnesty Programme is very remarkable. Comrade Anighoro urged him to do more for the people of the Niger Delta and the Nigerian Union, noting that he is one of the outstanding performers in the Jonathan administration. Anighoro thanked Kuku for being accessible and for building bridges of mutual respect and co-existence amongst the people of the Niger Delta through his office.
The youths also declared their support for the forthcoming National Conference, saying that it is a necessary step of engaging the people of the Nigerian Union in discussing their collective existence as a people.
At Alhaji Asari’s residence, the youths cheered when he informed them that he and others are in the forefront of the demand for the negotiated release of Chief Ibori. He expressed hope on the release of Ibori and promised to also champion the cause for the release of Kelvin Onairah.
•Photo shows the Urhobo youths during their peaceful rally in support of President Jonathan.
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