Ijaw Youth To Engage FG In Resource Control And Ownership

Ijaw Youth Council, Niger DeltaThe 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.

Resource Control

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.

U.S Diplomat Advocates Dialogue To End Niger Delta Violence

Sean_McIntoshThe United States has identified dialogue as a possible way of resolving the renewed militant attacks on oil installations in Nigeria’s Niger Delta region.

The Spokesman of the Embassy of the United States in Nigeria, Mr Sean McIntosh, told Channels Television that America remains one of the nation’s partners and will continue to support Nigeria in the fight against terror.

Mr McIntosh believes Nigeria needs to bring all parties to the table for dialogue in battling the terrible attacks on the nation’s infrastructure.

The Minister of Environment, Aisha Mohammed, last week also urged militant groups in the region to stop blowing up oil installations and embrace the path of dialogue with the federal government.

According to the Minister, the act of blowing up oil installations is not only criminal but its impact on the environment cannot be quantified.

A new militant group, Niger Delta Avengers, have been claiming responsibility for attacks on oil installations belonging to NNPC and Chevron in the Niger Delta.

No To Military Approach

The President of the Ijaw Youth Council, Udengs Eradiri, on Thursday also advised the Buhari-led administration to sit up and address the issues behind the Niger Delta militants’ attacks instead of using military might.

He urged President Muhammadu Buhari to “wake up” to the challenges of the people and not pay attention to people advising him that the attacks can be handled.

He explained that the people are aware that the infrastructure in their communities generate a lot of revenue for the country and the militants are unhappy that the people are not part of the plan.

“These people have been pushed to the wall and now they don’t care,” he said.

The youth leader advised that one of the solutions to the problem is to stop pursuing people from the Niger Delta but allow the law to take its course.


Niger Delta Youths Task Buhari on Infrastructure, Sustaining Amnesty

Niger DeltaNiger Delta youths under the aegis of Bridge Builders Of Nigeria (BOND) have called on the incoming administration to address problems of infrastructure and widespread poverty in the Niger Delta.

This is coming ahead of the May 29 swearing-in of General Muhammadu Buhari as the President of Nigeria.

At a news conference in Abuja, the Grand Patron of the group, Dibi Yankore, said that addressing the challenges facing the region would help in sustaining the peace and security that is currently being enjoyed in the region.

Issues of environmental degradation, lack of infrastructure and widespread poverty in the Niger Delta region were brought to the front burner as the Niger Delta youths attempted to set an agenda for the incoming administration of General Muhammadu Buhari.

The association advised the incoming administration to fulfill its campaign promises in order to ensure the sociopolitical and economic growth of Nigeria as a nation.

At a separate news conference, another group, the Ijaw Youth Council appealed to the President-elect to sustain the amnesty programme established by the late President Musa Yar’adua for the rehabilitation of restive Niger Delta youths in order to ensure continuous peace in the region.

The President of the Ijaw Youth Council, Udengs Eradiri, said that the sustenance of the programme would not only boost the nation’s oil resources but would continue to ensure peace in the Niger-Delta region.

They also appealed to all the youths of the Niger Delta region to support the incoming administration.

Bayelsa Inaugurates Youth Development Committee

Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson

Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson, has inaugurated members of the newly established Centre for Youth Development at the state banquet hall in Yenagoa.

The Governor, during the inauguration, tasked the Chairman and other members with the duty of formulating programmes aimed at training and retraining Bayelsa youths on various skills which will help in keeping the youths off the streets.

The newly inaugurated Chairman of the Bayelsa Centre for Youth Development, Ekibabowei Victor Ben, who is an ex Niger Delta agitator popularly known as “Boy Loaf” while appreciating the Governor for the opportunity to serve, assured people of Bayelsa that the youth centre would replicate the methods used by the Federal Amnesty Programme and he was sure this would produce much result.

Also, in a related development, the newly inaugurated President of the Ijaw Youth Council, Udengs Eradiri, and other members of his cabinet were presented to Governor Dickson by the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta Affairs, Kinsley Kuku.

While presenting the IYC executives, Mr. Kuku applauded Governor Dickson’s commitment to furthering the cause of Ijaw people.

The IYC President, Udengs Eradiri, who also praised the stance of the Governor on issues that bother on the progress of the Ijaws said that the National Conference and the 2015 re-election of President Goodluck Jonathan were the foremost priorities of the IYC.

The Governor charged the IYC to work towards achieving more unity amongst the Ijaws, especially the youths.

We Have 17 President-Elects Of The Ijaw Youth Council – Donkemezuo

Factional President-Elect of the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC), Elvis Donkemezuo has blamed the current crisis rocking the organisation on the Bayelsa State government.

Speaking on Sunrise Daily, he alleged that Bayelsa State Commissioner for Ijaw Affairs, Felix Tuodolo, who was present at the election day disrupted the election.

Donkemezuo claimed that renowned Public Affairs Analyst, Ankio Briggs, was nominated to chair the electoral committee based on her reputation for uprightness, but was later removed because the Bayelsa State government was unable to make her rig the election in favour of their candidate.

He stated that there were actually 17 candidates laying claim to the title of President-elect of the IYC because the elections were not concluded.

He accused the Bayelsa State government of disrupting the election process by sharing the sum of 30,000 Naira (about 189 dollars)  to each delegate while the election was going on, in order to make them vote for a preferred candidate. He claimed that there were video evidences to back his claims.

Explaining the procedure that produced all eligible delegates who are 100 in total, from all zones of the IYC including Lagos, he said trouble started when on the election day, the votes for the post of Financial Secretary and Treasurer had a total of 106 and 104 ballot papers respectively.

However, according to Donkemezuo, the most crucial moment of the election was when the ballot papers were being counted and the Commissioner, Felix Tuodolo came into the hall and started distributing money to the private security hired by the government and arguments started amongst them due to dissatisfaction of some of the security men.

The internal fights created a chaotic scene that led to the disruption of the counting process, as aspirants protested and the Electoral Chairman, Sunny Diritolofari declared the election inconclusive.

Donkemezuo posited that the Bayelsa State Government knew that if the votes were counted, their candidate would have lost and that was why they opted to disrupt the election.

The twist to the incident came the morning after, when they woke up to be told via an SMS that there would be an election at 8am. On getting to the election venue, it was barricaded by soldiers with all the aspirants locked outside and they were told that the election had been held and a winner had emerged.

The said winner, Udengs Eradiri, a former Secretary General of IYC, was the only aspirant present at the election and he was said to have entered through the back door. He was allegedly whisked into the Government House where a press conference was held and he was declared president.

According to him, the electoral committee’s refusal to give any explanation on the development made all other presidential aspirants declare themselves president.

The development led to several peaceful protests on the streets of Yenagoa. “The protests continued into the late hours of that day,” he said.

The question asked by Elvis Donkemezuo and other presidential aspirants is, “who voted for Udengs Eradiri?”