Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
The Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) has accused the Federal Government of allowing the peaceful protest against police brutality get out of hand.
The spokesman of the IYC, Mr Ebilade Ekerefe in a press conference he addressed in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State capital said Ijaw youths are not happy with the way the Federal Government handled the protests which snowballed into killings and loss of lives.
Ekerefe who said the council condemned the brute force on defenceless protesters at the Lekki toll gate by soldiers called on the Federal Government to constitute an independent panel of inquiry to ascertain the truth about the Lekki toll gate incident.
The group also decried the violence in Port Harcourt in the guise of #EndsSARS project adding that “the incident in Port-Harcourt which led to the beheading of Inspector Oliver Igbani, a police officer from Otuokpoti by irate pro-Biafra youths is unacceptable and would no longer be tolerated”
IYC said having examined the current situation in the country; it would want to urge the Federal Government to take urgent steps to restructure the country.
“The 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 criminalize 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 an the 2014 NATIONAL CONFAB REPORT has addressed the concerns of a restructured Nigeria. We therefore demand for its immediate implementation.
“While we will collaborate with the military to fish out criminals from our creeks, we shall also not accept the invasion of such communities in the name of searching for alleged criminals. We demand that henceforth, this pattern should stop as most communities are still yet to recover socioeconomically from such invasions”
Ekerefe said Ijaw youths are displeased with moves to retrench workers from Ijaw origin warning that it would not accept sacking of Ijaw people working with oil companies.
The council also called on the Federal Government to take decisive steps to stop gas flaring which over the years has affected oil communities.
It also pleaded with President Muhammadu Buhari to come to aid of communities submerged by flood in the Niger Delta region and urged it to sign without delay the bill establishing the Maritime University Okerenkoko.