IYC Releases Strong New Year Message, Sets 2024 Agenda For Tinubu, IOCs, Interventionist Agencies

Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) Worldwide

Press Statement

1/01/2024

IYC New Year Message To FG, IOCs, Niger Delta Governors, Others

As a council, we wish all Ijaw Youths living on planet earth a prosperous New Year and commend each an everyone of you for standing tall in the defence of the Ijaw people and the Niger Delta region. It is important that the Ijaw Youth Council at this point in time put our expectations in writing before the Federal Government of Nigeria, Multinational Oil Companies operating in our region, the various Niger Delta Governors, interventionist agencies and others.
IYC wants the above mentioned authorities to pay special attention to this New Year Press Statement from the Ijaw Youths because this is the resolve of the Ijaw people as this piece will guide the modus operandi of the Ijaw Youth Council operations in 2024 and beyond.

It is on this note that we are highlighting the following issues before the Federal Government of Nigeria and its allies to work on as Council will be resolute in pursuing justice for our people using peaceful means.

The issues are below:

(1) Relocation Of IOCs Headquarters Back To The Niger Delta Region:
We are calling on the multinational oil companies operating in the Niger Delta region to begin to activate plans in relocating their headquarters back to the region. The Ijaw people cannot continue to accept this kind of injustice. You can’t milk oil from our soil and then be paying royalty to other state (s) that don’t produce oil and gas. Our people must be treated fairly and must participate fully in the oil and gas sector. We must get our due benefits and not the usual crumbs. We must renegotiate the modus operandi of the oil companies with particular regards to the well-being of the Ijaw and Niger Delta people that are hosting these companies.

(2) Peace in Niger Delta:

The Ijaw Youth Council is not oblivious of the fact that peace is the mother of development hence Council have always preached peace in the Niger Delta from the Kaiama Declaration to the Niger Delta Presidential Amnesty Programme till now, the IYC has been on the forefront advocating for a peaceful and united Niger Delta and Nigeria. We will continue to do all within our powers as one of the largest youth movements in the World to preach peace, believing that the Federal Government of Nigeria and allies will be fair and just to the Ijaw people and other minorities in Nigeria on our quest to live a decent life. We cannot continue to feed the nation but living like slaves in this country. Without justice, fairness and equity, the sermon of peace might just be an utopian dream.

(3) Interventionist Agencies Must Begin To Prioritise The Rapid Development Of Ijaw/Niger Delta Communities:

The Ijaw people have resolved that Interventionist agencies established to make life more meaningful and by extension add more value to the development of the region must begin to in practical terms live up to the expectations of our people and the region.

Interventionist agencies like the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Niger Delta Ministry and other related agencies must know that what we need now is the physical manifestation of projects in our communities. There should be no excuse this time around for our places to be developed. The Niger Delta Development has been stagnated for too long.

Council will continue to engage with these authorities frequently in ensuring that the right thing is done for our people. All roads leading to the Niger Delta are all bad, the Federal Ministry of works should waste no time in swinging into action by urgently rehabilitating the East West Road, particularly the Rivers, Bayelsa to Delta portion of the road.

IYC don’t want to believe that it will get to a point where we will be storming the streets and halting activities before the right things will be done by fixing our roads and developing our places.

Worthy of note also is the construction of the Udo-Ofunama road, the NDDC should prioritise the urgent construction of that project as it means so much to the Ijaw and Niger Delta people. That road is the only access road leading to Egbema Kingdom. Egbema Kingdom is an Ijaw Kingdom, a major oil producing Kingdom in Niger Delta that is in Edo and Delta States. This important road project has lingered for too long, the current NDDC has a moral duty to carry on with this project.

(4) Implementation Of 2014 National Conference (Confab) Report:
It is important we remind ourselves that Nigeria has an unfinished business with the May 2014 National Conference Report, popularly known as 2014 Confab.

Nigeria has been wobbling with a lot of challenges that at certain points even threatens our very survival as a nation. It is no longer news that Nigeria as a multi ethnic country needs to be renegotiated by all. A renegotiated Nigeria for which the plights of the minorities are taken into consideration and a constitution for all is what the 2014 National Conference (Confab) report stands for. Nigeria is not likely to make any reasonable progress if the Confab is not implemented. A simple implementation of the 2014 Confab will lay to rest almost all the woes bedeviling Nigeria. It contains the master plan for Nigeria’s development.

(5) IYC Is Highly Interested On How Our People Are Fairing In The Various States That The Ijaws Are Bulkernizsd Into:

The Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) Worldwide will be keenly interested in how our people are fairing in the various Niger Delta States that we have been squeezed and bulkernized into.

Oftentimes, the Ijaws in Edo, Ondo, Delta, Rivers, Abia, Akwa Ibom and Imo States have been grappling with issues of marginalisation, political alienation and wanton negligence on the part of the Governors in the various states. It is our call that the Governors take the development of the Ijaw areas more serious in 2024 as Council will not tolerate any further inimical political manipulation foisted against our people. They are bonafide indigenes in these States and are even the economic base of the states, hence they should be treated fairly like real humans that they are. The Governors must take this message seriously, our communities must be seen developing like other areas in the states and our people should be appointed into juicy political offices as well.

(6) IYC Reiterates Its Call For Fiscal Federalism:

Today, this is 25 years after the formation of Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) Worldwide via the Kaiama Declaration on December 11th 1998.

Fiscal federalism for all federating units in Nigeria to control sources in their region has always been part of the Ijaw struggle for self determination and resource control.
The Ijaw People and Niger Deltans cannot continue to be exploited politically and economically in the Nigerian State without justice, as Nigeria is talking about sustainable peace, we should be talking about sustainable justice. Today, in Zamfara and other states, they are mining golds and the proceeds from gold are not being shared, as the Federal Government of Nigeria has been mute over this grave injustice while our oil and gas is made public. These are some of the anomalies that need to be corrected if we are to really move forward as a country. If our oil and gas can be shared across the country, why can’t the gold be shared?. It is only fiscal federalism that can lay to rest this economic and political imbalance.

(7) 3% PIA, an aberration to the Niger Delta people:

The Ijaws and the entire Niger Delta people are not comfortable with the paltry 3% for host communities in the PIA, we will study the PIA again and assemble our team to resist this injustice that is meted out on our people. This to us is one of the most draconian laws in Nigeria since the advent of democracy. We cannot accept this without challenging it. We are calling for increment of the percentage.

(8) Employment Nominal Roll Of IOCs:
While we will continue to engage the Federal Government of Nigeria to negotiate a better deal for our people, the Multinational oil companies operating in our region will not be left out.

IYC will do all within our powers to engage oil companies by demanding the employment nominal roll of IOCs and other national companies operating in our region. We want to know the percentage of our indigenes that are gainfully employed in these companies compared to the ratio from those outside the region. This is very important to us as Ijaw people. There should be no excuse why our people can’t top the nominal roll of employment list of these companies.

(9) Finally, while IYC will continue to work closely with security agencies and other critical stakeholders in the region to foster and sustain peace and unity in Nigeria, we are also tasking the military to always be professional in dealing with the Niger Delta Communities as we have witnessed too much bombardment of defenseless Niger Delta communities.
Once again, happy new year to all Nigerians.

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