The Ijaw Youth Council has pledged to do what it can to ensure development in the Niger Delta region.
The pledge was made during the national convention of the council held at Burutu Local Government Area of Delta State, south-south Nigeria.
According to the outgoing President of the council, Udengs Eradiri, the convention will produce a new leadership that would consider all issues that affect the youth, Ijaw nation and the Niger Delta region as a whole, most especially the final declaration of the resumption of the Nigerian Maritime University, Okerenkoko.
“Before now, Niger Delta youths were involved in a lot of things but today, we are trying to chart a new course and we’ve been able to put them together.
“For me, I believe that the ultimate achievement will be the declaration of resumption of the maritime university by the Muhammadu Buhari led administration; that process is one that will build the capacity of the Ijaws and develop our environment,” said Eradiri.
With a mandate to demand resource control, the new President of the council, Eric Omare, promised to do all he can to engage the Federal Government in a purposeful dialogue to achieve resource ownership.
While appreciating the confidence building activities created by Acting President Yemi Osinbajo’s recent visit, Omare stated the council’s interest in a lasting solution to the challenges faced in the Niger Delta region.
“Our mandate as Ijaw youths is to demand for resource control and self-determination; we will continue the agitation for resource control.
“We appreciate the fact that there are efforts to build confidence in the region by the Acting President, but let me say that we are no longer interested in the short solutions to the Niger Delta problems.
“We are only interested in long term solutions and that long term solution lies in resource control or true federalism as the case might be.
“So any solution to the Niger Delta problem without addressing resource ownership is unacceptable to the youth council and Ijaw nation in general.
“In the days ahead, we will engage the Nigerian Government to ensure they carry out a purposeful dialogue towards ensuring this,” the new council president said.
The new officers elected are expected to manage the affairs of the organisation from March 2017 till March 2020.