By Binebai Princewill
It was like a parliamentary debate yesterday near Warri as the Western Zone Clan Chairmen Forum of Ijaw Youth Council (IYC), Comprising Delta, Edo and Ondo States led by its Chairman, Comr. Ebolo Samuel met to critically discuss the state of things bedeviling Ijaws in the aforementioned states.
Bothered about the level of underdevelopment that had continued to engulfed the Ijaws in these states, the youths have vowed that they would no longer keep quiet while their communities and people suffers such ignominious neglect.
After a marathon meeting, the youths drafted a communique detailing all the issues bedeviling the Ijaws in the various states to be acted upon by those in concern.
It would be recalled that the well attended meeting was held at Crimpson Place, Okuokoko in Okpe Local Government Area of Delta State.
The youths, speaking further had called on the management of Sterling Global for the increment of their monthly stipends as well as stop night movement in the waterways of Delta, stressing that such movements have led to the death of many.
The communique reads in full below:
A CLARION CALL TO IJAW POLITICIANS IN DELTA, ONDO, AND EDO STATES ON THE NEED TO DEVELOP IJAW TERRITORIES WITH THE MANDATE GIVEN UNTO THEM BY IJAW PEOPLE.
There is no gainsaying that the Ijaws in Delta State, Ondo & Edo have not had her fair share since the creation of both states dated 27 August 1991(Delta, Edo was created) & 3 February 1976( Ondo Was Created).
We have not been major beneficiaries developmentally from the dividends of democracy despites our economic & Political relevance to these states from inception. This to us is INTENTIONAL LEADERSHIP NEGLIGENCE by those we entrusted our mandate through the ballot.
These same reasons and many more compelling other reasons were the Lamentations of our dear leader Late. Major Jasper Adaka Boro that prompted him into action. Perhaps, that singular decision made over many years ago remained the foundational journey of the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) Worldwide.
In times past, Youth bodies have called severally the attention of His Excellencies , Senator Dr. Ifeanyi A. Okowa, Governor of Delta State, His Excellency Godwin Obaseki, Governor of Edo State, our own Ijaw Leaders , Specifically, serving politicians, stakeholders ( our representatives from state, House of Assembly, Local Government Chairmen, Councillors , Appointees & Federal) over refusal to facilitate major project’s in Ijaw Territories and deliberate denial of Governor Okowa of Delta State and Governor Obaseki of Edo State to give Ijaw people what is due us. On the forgoing, we hereby appeal to our Governors and demands for companies operating withing the Niger Delta Region for the completion of the following projects.
1: The Economically viable Ayakoromor Bridge that will link other Ijaw communities has now become a death trap to travellers & indigenes of the riverine Communities.
2: We demand that the Burutu Marine Technology be upgraded same way 3 universities have been converted to universities by the Delta state government.
3 We demand for the completion of Technical College in Patani LGA
4: We also appeal for a functional Bomadi polytechnic.
5: Dredging of Abara Waterside in Ogulagha Kingdom
6: Government should quickly intervene on the resettlement of Diebiri kingdom.
On the other hand 7: Sterling global boats should immediately stop movement at night. This became obviously necessary due cases of death caused by the activities of sterling Global on the fishing population of impacted kingdoms ( I.e. Zadobiri Clan, Kunbowei Clan , Tarakiri , Kombowei clan, Akugbene Mein Clan, Seimbiri, Oporomor Clan etc.
8: We therefore demand for 35 job slots for the affected clans.
9: We also demand for 50 percent increment in the monthly stipends for the affected clans impacted by Sterling Global Operations.
10: Completion of Marine Academy in Gelegele Community, Edo state for the proposed seaport of Gelegele
11: Edo state police Command should stop the arrest of Ikoro Community Youths in respect to the crises between Ikoro & Obazuwa Community.
12: Completion of Edo Ofunama and Inikoroagha road.
13: We want the immediate piling of Obuguru community in Ogulagha Kingdom, Burutu Local Government Area of Delta State.
Provokingly, Youth Bodies had peacefully demonstrated via protest again and again on the need to complete the aforementioned projects but we are yet to know the political sin we have committed that may have warranted the inhuman treatment meted out on the riverine Communities by the Delta state government.
However, we have watched with utter dismay the way and manner they (our leaders) playing politics with the development of our region.
Henceforth, we would no longer tolerate the excesses of our leaders whom we voted into offices on the strength of their promises to deliver a quality representation. So, we have resolved to take protest first to our representatives immediately after a well-attended congress demanding for their resignation if our leaders are no longer ready to speak for us, and finally to Osadebe house Asaba.
Therefore, we are calling on our dear Leader, Dr. Doubra Okotete, Chairman western Zone & the entire zonal leadership to please call for Zonal Congress where the Youths from the various clans in Western Zone will come out en mass to collectively discuss the way forward.
We also observed with displeasure the long silence of the National Leadership Of IYC led by its President, Comrade Dcn. Peter Timothy Igbifa over NDDC Issue, Amnesty, companies such as shell, SPDC, Chevron, Sterling Global etc operating in the Niger Delta Region. The National Leadership should rise up to their responsibilities in other to correct the many abnormalities and irregularities going on the aforementioned Agencies.
While, we are at no liberty to tell our Ijaw Political Leaders What to do due to their vast leadership experiences believing they already knew how to achieve the Ijaw Governorship Agender come 2023.
We are appealing to our leaders to fall back to their various Clans, Communities, Kingdoms for a proper strategic planing with clear vision and oneness of mind. Only by this notion we can achieve a better 2023.
Above all, the IYC Clan Chairmen Forum Western Zone are more interested and bothered on who will bring development and infrastructures to our communities and for all deltans.
Sign for & On behalf of IYC Clan chairmen forum
Comrade Ebolo Samuel
Chairman, chairmen forum
Comrd Opede Sunday
Secretary, chairmen forum.