The Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) said on Tuesday that Dr. Goodluck Jonathan’s reign as Vice President and President of Nigeria did not solve the aspirations of the Ijaw people in the Nigerian state.
Tari Porri, President of the IYC, Central Zone, said this in his inaugural address after he and other executive committee members of the zone were sworn in at the Ijaw House in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.
He contended that the Nigerian state had been unfair to the Ijaw people, saying that the ethnic nationality desired a restructured country to resolve all the issues bordering on resource control and marginalisation.
Porri said that the Kaiama Declaration was anchored on the principles of resource control and fiscal federalism which is now dominating the debate on the restructuring of the polity.
“The Ijaw nation is in a critical moment in the Nigerian state. We are all aware of the call for restructuring. No doubt, restructuring is the primary reason why the Kaiama Declaration was made.
”The Kaiama Declaration was founded on the principle of true federalism; that the Ijaw nation ought to have access to our resources and control over our resources. It is quite unfortunate that the Nigerian state sincerely has been unfair to the Ijaw nation.
”No doubt, we (Ijaw people) earlier got a president and commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, but that has not solved the yearnings and aspirations of the Ijaw people,” he said.
The IYC leader also called on the multinational oil companies operating within the Central Zone of the Ijaw nation to relocate their headquarters to the zone if they were willing to operate within the vicinity of Ijaw land.
He noted that most of the pipelines criss-crossing the entire zone had expired, calling on the oil companies to replace them in the interest of peace and security.
”Most of the explosions, most of the things that happen in the environment are not caused by Ijaw youths. Ijaw youths are law-abiding, Ijaw youths are not fighters and we are hardworking.
‘I want to say that all the multinational oil companies that are operating in our zone should please, as a matter of urgency commence process of replacing all the pipelines across the central zone that have expired as we will no longer tolerate corrosion, explosion and equipment failure,” Porri added.