The Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) Worldwide has stated that the people of the Niger Delta will only support a presidential candidate who genuinely desires to see true federalism implemented.
This was announced in a conversation in Yenagoa by IYC spokesman Ebilade Ekerefe.
He remarked, “We have taken a critical look at the transitional journey of the nation towards this year’s presidential election. We want to re-affirm the call on the people of the region to support a presidential candidate with the sincerity of purpose for true federalism, justice and equity for all regions.
“We particularly call for the peaceful conduct of the forthcoming general election, and we are ready to work with security agencies to thwart any plan by anti-democratic agents, non-state actors, proxies or hired hands of any candidate plotting to disrupt the existing peace in the region.
“The IYC, in line with its tents, will continue to promote constructive agitations to attract the attention of the authorities, at the state governments, the Federal Government and the multinational oil companies to the development of our region, particularly in job creation for the teeming unemployed youths and addressing the effect of climate change which is causing severe devastation to our environment and also impeding on our livelihood.
“We frown at the Federal Government’s lackadaisical attitude towards addressing the effects of the devastating flood in Niger Delta, especially Bayelsa State that is adjudged to be the worst hit.
“We expect serious interventions from the Federal Government to help the affected states of the region, especially, to fix roads washed away, provision of grants and soft loans to farmers to start over again and medical support to aggressively fight cholera and other communicable diseases.”
Concerning the oil revenue increase as a result of the pipeline surveillance contract, he said, “We want to reiterate that the bold decision taken by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited to award pipeline surveillance jobs to indigenous companies, mainly Tantita Security Limited owned by Chief Government Ekpempolo, alias Tompolo is already yielding desired results.
“With reports and improving oil output data available, the council wants to urge the Federal Government to plough back some of the proceeds to the region’s development.
“While we urge the crude oil pipeline contractors to remain focussed and continue assisting the Nigerian nation to improve the proceeds from the oil revenue, we demand that the East-West Road be completed in 2023 and the Federal Government projects in the region which are yet to be completed be given the deserved attention.
“While we won’t preempt the move, it will be quite sad and shameful should stakeholders in the Niger Delta withdraw supports for the fight against crude oil theft if the region is not included in the priority list of the Federal Government in terms of development.”