July 21, 2024

A PRESS CONFERENCE HELD ON THIS 6TH DAY OF SEPTEMBER 2023 IN WARRI BY THE IJAW YOUTH COUNCIL (IYC) WORLDWIDE AS A RESPONSE TO THE NORTHERN YOUTH ADVOCACY FOR GOOD GOVERNANCE INITIATIVE AND AREWA YOUTH FORUM ON THEIR MISGUIDED PROTEST AGAINST THE PIPE SURVEILLANCE SECURITY CONTRACT.

1. The Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) Worldwide is compelled to address the press on the very provocative utterances made by the Northern Youth Advocacy for Good Governance Initiative and Arewa Youth Forum against the Niger Delta people over the issue of award of surveillance contract and the shared ignorance displayed by the Northern group over the development in oil and gas industry.

2. It is not the style of the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) Worldwide to join issues with fellow youth organisations in Nigeria that are supposed to be partners in progress in achieving the Nigeria of our dream and to respond to every tom, dick and harry but because such untrue and politically motivated utterances are coming from groups like the Northern Youth Advocacy for Good Governance Initiative and Arewa Youth Forum, there is every need for the IYC to respond by setting the records straight.

3. That as Ijaw people and Niger Deltans whose lands the Oil and gas flows from, we find it strange and insulting to see Northern Youths that are from a region without oil staging protest against a pipeline surveillance contract in Niger Delta and in the process deciding on who to give and not to give with a lot of provocative remarks against our region and our respected leader.

4. The Northern Youth Advocacy for Good Governance Initiative and Arewa Youth Forum must know their boundary in this country, they should keep clear from activities of the Niger Delta, particularly to the Ijaw people. We will not be tolerating this all the time. The Ijaw Youth Council have never protested against any Northerner not to be given contract in his place or region. We have had too many of these kind of misguided protests against our people from the Northern Youths. We can still recall vividly how Northern Youths in 2022 protested against this contract not to be given to Niger Deltans.

5. The Ijaw Youth Council (IYC ) Worldwide will never allow anyone or group of persons particularly in this present administration and beyond to shortchange any Ijaw man or woman. Any attempt of such will be resisted by any means necessary. Guiding pipeline in our communities for the Federal Government of Nigeria is not even something that we are supposed to fight and struggle to get, it should be our right and Northern Youths do not have the right to even talk about it. The agitation now is that soon we will be fighting to have control over the resources in our lands.

6. We are calling on the Northern Elders Forum to call their children to order, because we do not know how long we will be tolerating this all the time, even the patient dog has a limit to his patience, a word they say is enough for the wise.

7. The Ijaw Youth Council is well aware that for years now, there has been gold mining in Zamfara, Abuja, Bauchi, Osun, Niger, Sokoto, Kebbi, Oyo, Kogi and Kaduna states etc, till date nothing is being remitted to the coffers of the federation in any way and nobody is saying anything about it. But the Niger Delta oil and gas has right from time become public where every tom, dick and harry lay claims and have something to say.

8. However, we are calling on His Excellency, President Bola Tinubu, President Federal Republic of Nigeria who has demonstrated commitment to midwife the best for Nigeria to completely disregard and ignore the Northern Youths and their sponsors, as the protest is taggetted to mislead him into taking wrong decision that may set Nigeria on fire.

9. Let us sound it clearly again that it is not only an Ijaw son that is handling Pipline Surveillance Security contract in Nigeria, Niger Delta, why would they be protesting against the Ijaws always when the said facilties are even in their lands and they are delivering fully on the job.

10. To us as Ijaw Youths, while we will continue to preach peace and one Nigeria, we cannot seat idle and watch people trying to act as if they are more important than others. The Niger Delta and the Ijaw people must be treated with special care. We cannot play second fiddle to anyone in this country.

11. We have never seen anywhere in this country where the Northern and Arewa Youths are staging protest against the insecurity that has plagued the Northern part of the country for years now but will be quick to speak on Niger Delta issues with all forms of impunity and audacity. This act must stop now.

12. The Federal Government of Nigeria is clearly aware and the records are with them on whether there is an improvement since the Ijaws began to protect the facilities in the region. Whether people comes with their gimmicks or not, the truth remains the truth. The oil revenue has no doubt increased astronomically within the last one year.

13. Finally, while the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) Worldwide will continue to be neutral and fair to all Ijaw leaders, we are appealing that our leaders must be seen working together for a stronger Ijaw nation, our strength lies in our unity. Ijaw nation needs you all. It is the fighting among us that is giving outsiders the impetus to delve into our matters.

Long Live Ijaw Youth Council
Long Live Ijaw Nation
Long Live Federal Republic of Nigeria.

SIGNED:
Amb. Binebai Yerin Princewill, Spokesman Ijaw Youth Council (IYC ) Worldwide.