Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
The Ijaw Youth Council (IYC), the umbrella body of Ijaw youths worldwide, has sent a message to Biafra and Oduduwa secessionists that they leave the Ijaw nation out of what they called ‘their utopian republics’.
The Chairman of IYC Transition Implementation Committee, Mr Kennedy Olorogun, who stated this on behalf of the organisation, said the Ijaw nation does not need to be annexed to other imagined ethnonational territories, saying they are capable of self-government.
Kennedy, explaining that the COVID-19 pandemic ravaging the world has forced this year’s annual Isaac Boro Day to be low key, noted however that the drive, enthusiasm and passion to demonstrate the sentiments of the people remain constant.
According to him, the Ijaw nation would continue to pursue issues of strategic importance to the Ijaw people and the Niger Delta region.
His statement reads:
‘Today, the Ijaw nation is confronted with the renewed quest for nationalism within the Nigerian geopolitical arrangement. This may have been compelled other tribes, groups and ethnic nationalities in the country, such as the Oduduwa and various movements championing the Biafra cause to renew their agitation for self-determination.
‘Whilst the Ijaw nation is not adverse to their cause, the forced annexation and fraudulent redrawing of the geographical boundaries of the Ijaw territories into their dream nations would no longer be tolerated.
‘We are seizing this medium to inform the promoters and sponsors of the Oduduwa and Biafra republics that they should not include Ijaw territories in their acclaimed nations. The Ijaws are domiciled in Ondo, Edo, Delta, Bayelsa, Rivers and Akwa Ibom States and are prominently resident in all the States of the Niger Delta.
‘In this wise, the Oduduwas and the Biafra secessionists should leave Ijaw territories out of their utopian republics. Ijaws are capable of governing themselves. In this vein, the Ijaw nation is watching the unfolding events within the Nigerian polity and at the fullness of time the Ijaw nation would state their position.’