Ijaw youths call for peace in Rivers crisis

Ijaw youths call for peace in Rivers crisis

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By Akinsuroju Olubunmi

Ijaw youths call for peace in Rivers crisis

Ijaw youths call for peace in Rivers crisis

The Ijaw Youth Council Worldwide has called on political leaders to avoid escalating the crisis in Rivers State amidst ongoing political tensions. This plea was made in a statement jointly signed by its National President, Alaye Theophilus, and Bayelsa Youth Association President, Doupere Precious, among others.


The statement followed a one-day peace and security summit held on May 17, 2024, convened by the IYC with leaders from various youth groups in the Niger Delta region. Rivers State has been mired in a power struggle primarily between Governor Siminalayi Fubara and the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Nyesom Wike, Fubara’s predecessor.


The crisis revolves around control over political decisions, influence over the State House of Assembly, and other issues of governance. Despite President Bola Tinubu’s efforts to mediate, tensions remain high.


In their statement, the IYC emphasized the importance of maintaining stability in Rivers State and urged political leaders to “sheath their swords.” They stated, “On the political stability in Rivers State, we urge the politicians causing political turbulence in the state to sheath their swords. This state is critical to both the region and the nation, and we cannot stand idle and watch while it descends into crisis.”


The IYC also called for peace across the Niger Delta region, stressing that development thrives in a peaceful environment. They said, “We advocate for peace throughout the entire Niger Delta region, not just in Rivers State. Peace fosters development, and we are committed to preventing the current crisis in Rivers State from escalating into a breakdown of law and order”.


The council urged the Federal Government to restructure the country, criticizing the concentration of power in the presidency. “We believe that only true federalism can transform our nation. Therefore, we call on the Federal Government to initiate a process of restructuring this country as a matter of national importance. The burden of leadership and development is too concentrated in the presidency. True federalism is essential for the prosperity of our nation, and we need it now,” they stated.


The IYC also addressed environmental issues in the oil-rich Niger Delta, calling on the Federal Government to implement the 3 percent Host Community Fund from the Petroleum Industry Act. They stated, “The gas flaring effect fund that is being collected by the federal government should be directed to the impacted communities rather than going into the federal government purse”.


Additionally, the IYC requested that pipeline contracts be distributed among different ethnic groups to enhance effectiveness. “We request that the federal government swiftly distributes pipeline contracts among different ethnic groups. While we are not opposed to a single company handling the contracts, we believe that involving multiple leaders from different areas will enhance effectiveness and yield better results,” the statement read


The IYC also urged regional governors to unite in addressing poverty and underdevelopment.

Ijaw youths call for peace in Rivers crisis

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