IYC Rejects Confab List
To convene all Ijaw youth 'declaration' conference SAN FRANCISCO, March 08, (THEWILL) - As preparations for the National Conference which begins on March 17 gets to a ever pitch with the release of the names of delegates by the Federal Government, the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) has rejected the list .
Blaming the non-inclusion of IYC members on the list for its rejection, the group said it is unacceptable that IYC would be pushed aside in a conference of such importance.
According to IYC, the exclusion was a calculated attempt to deny the Ijaw youths and Niger Delta from presenting their age-long struggle for resource control and self-determination at the National Conference.
A statement by IYC spokesman, Eric Omare, said IYC frowns at and rejects the non-inclusion of its delegates to the National Conference.
"The IYC views the exclusion as a deliberate attempt to deny Ijaw youths and by extension Niger Delta youths from presenting their aged-long struggle for resource control and self-determination at the National Conference.
"It is on record that the IYC has been one of the most consistent advocates of a National Conference to discuss the future existence of Nigeria.
"Indeed, a National Conference is one of the foremost demands of the IYC as enshrined in the historic Kaiama Declaration.
"Therefore, for the IYC, the umbrella body of all Ijaw youths, worldwide, the fourth largest ethnic group in Nigeria to be excluded from a list that has a total of 12 nominees from youth organisations is totally unacceptable.
"The IYC agreed to participate in the National Conference because we believe that it offers us an opportunity to correct the age-long marginalisation of the oil rich Niger Delta region and to advance the cause for resource control and self-determination which the IYC has been advocating all these years.
"We therefore call on the relevant authorities to correct the exclusion of the IYC from participation in the National Conference without delay," the statement said.
The group said following the development, it will convene an all Ijaw youth conference similar to the now celebrated "Kaiama declaration" to brainstorm over the position to be made in the nation's national conference.
"The Ijaw Youth Council (worldwide) would in the coming days hold an all Ijaw Youths Conference to take a common position to be presented at the National Conference which would kick off in the nation's capital, Abuja, 17, March, 2014.
"The all Ijaw Youths Conference which would take place at Agudiama Ekpetiama in Yenagoa Local Government Area of Bayelsa State would have in attendance Ijaw youths from home and abroad.
"The conference would be similar to the conference of Ijaw youths which gave birth to the historic Kaiama Declaration.
All Ijaw youths from all the clans of Ijaw Nation from Ondo, Edo, Delta, Bayelsa, Rivers and Akwa Ibom States of Nigeria are expected to be in attendance,' the statement added.