2015: Ijaw elders to meet Arewa, Ohanaeze, OPC

By The Rainbow

It was a heated session at the Ijaw House, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State yesterday as Elders of the Ijaw ethnic group have condemned what they referred to as consistent attacks on President Goodluck Jonathan.

After a four-hour meeting at Ijaw Houses, in Yenegoa, the elders resolved to meet with the Arewa Consultative Forum, Ohanaeze Ndigbo and the Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC) to resolve areas of differences.

The meeting held under the aegis of the Ijaw National Congress.

They resolved to reach out to other ethnic nationalities  and reason with them  other ethnic groups would give their geopolitical zone a second chance.

They believe that such dialogue and consultation would lead to an agreement that would allow Jonathan a second term in office.

They were worried that the tirades launched against Jonathan and the present negative mood of some important sections of the country would work against Jonathan in 2015.

The meeting was convened by Bayelsa State Commissioner for Culture and Ijaw National Affairs, Dr. Felix Tuodolor.

One of the leaders, Chief Thompson Okorotie, submitted that Jonathan deserved a second term in office.

But he said there must be ethnic harmony to guarantee a second term for the President.

'He is doing so much than any other person has done. So, he is going for a second term', he said.

Another elder, Churchill Enebele, observed that the Ijaw Youth Congress, a critical group in the zone, was engulfed in a crisis that must be resolved to speak for Jonathan with one voice.

'The IYC crisis must be resolved to elect a credible candidate that will plot the affairs of the presidential election in 2015', he said.

But Prof. Alagoa's suggestion that the elders should form a group to meet with Arewa and Ndiigbo was adopted by other elders.

'We want to urge them for support and appeal to them to reach out to their larger group to return the President before the election starts', he said.

Tuodolor said the Ijaw Nation had yet to meet its collective aspirations despite its strategic importance to the country.

He said: 'Sadly too, the insurgency, ideologically depraved Boko Haram does not help matters at the center as the lack of peace and security of lives and property not only distort the social order but practically impedes meaningful development.

'This anomaly is itself a travesty of justice. It is an ideology of the anomie; to make the country ungovernable, a detestable ideology of calling the dog a bad name in order to hang it.

'That is why we must not allow our son to stand alone in the rain so that his reign of power may not go down on the wrong side of history.

'And very importantly, we must press home for him to serve our country beyond one term so that he will consolidate on the gains of his rule which far exceeds that of any administration.

'Other regions or nations should control theirs as it is the tenets of true federalism. Also, INC should lead the process of building solid bridges between the Ijaws and other ethnic nationalities in the Niger Delta first and then the rest of the Nigeria'.