Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
The leaders of the Ijaw Youths Worldwide under the umbrella of the Ijaw Youths Council (IYC) rose from a meeting in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital and declared readiness to confront the Federal Government over the issues of true federalism, the militarisation of Niger Delta communities, gas flaring, water resource bill. The meeting chaired by the President of the IYC, Comrade Peter Timothy Igbifa and attended by the zonal leaders and elders of the IYC, past presidents and deputy presidents of the Council, including Dr. Chris Ekiyor; the Special Adviser to Bayelsa Governor on Ijaw National Affairs, Hon. Oyeinfie Jonjon; the former Deputy President of IYC, Chief Peye Agama, and Special Adviser to the Bayelsa Governor on Labour, Employment and Productivity, Hon. Famous Danemughan, resolved that a final position on the issues raised will be unveiled at the end of the ongoing consultations with various ethnic groups and state governors. Igbifa, at the end of the consultative meeting, told newsmen that though the council is undergoing consultation with Ijaw stakeholders, the Ijaw youths are ready to take their destinies in their own hands and confront the federal government over contentious issues of true federalism, restructuring and the militarisation of the Ijaw communities.
“As the 4th largest ethnic nationality in the country, we have a wide range of consultation to do. For sure, we have issued statements and taken a position that our people should take their destiny in their own hands. We have said the issue of resources control is key to us. God, not being man, has gone to Zamfara to give them Gold and help them to tap their resources and sell. So, we are also preparing ourselves to take our oil in our own hands and sell our oil to make our society what it ought to be.
“And the consultation is preparing our house and putting ourselves ready for what is ahead of us. We have said severally that no life will be lost in the course of taking our destiny in our own hands. In our last meeting, I said the military should not prepare for war because with these consultations we want to put an end to the militarisation of Ijaw communities,” Igbifa said.