IYC Hails MEND Ceasefire, Urges Boko Haram To Lay Down Arms
SAN FRANCISCO, June 05, (THEWILL) â€' The Ijaw Youth Council (IYC), Worldwide has commended the outlawed militia group, Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) for declaring ceasefire.
MEND said it declared the ceasefire following President Goodluck Jonathan's assertion that the doors of his government were open for dialogue and reconciliation with the insurgents groups if they renounce terrorism and embrace peace.
IYC hailed MEND for giving the Federal Government through the Special Adviser to the President on Niger-Delta Affairs, Hon. Kingsley Kuku, the opportunity to resolve all outstanding issues relating to the Niger Delta agitation.
IYC's spokesman, Eric Omare, said in a statement Thursday that the group is calling on other insurgent groups in Nigeria, including the Boko Haram sect to borrow a leaf from MEND and embrace the opportunity for dialogue offered by President Jonathan.
The statement said; 'The IYC is glad that MEND appreciates the fact that the natural instinct of human beings all over the world is to support one's own to succeed.
'The IYC and most Niger Deltans strongly believe that President Jonathan, being a Niger Deltan, appreciates the problems of the region and if given the necessary support would resolve the outstanding issues in the Niger-Delta region.
'In supporting President Jonathan, the IYC is not oblivious of the fact that there are unresolved issues in the Niger Delta region.
'Our conviction in the ability of President Jonathan to find a lasting solution to the Niger-Delta agitation is strengthen by the fact that he is being advised on the issues of the region by a product of the Niger Delta agitation and someone who has a firsthand knowledge of the problems in the person of Hon. Kingsley Kuku who MEND acknowledges has the capacity to drive the peace process.
'The IYC therefore calls on the Federal Government to take advantage of the ceasefire declared by MEND to take appropriate steps to constructively resolve the outstanding issues, while the IYC as the foremost youth organisation in the Niger-Delta region would play its part towards the resolution of the outstanding issues in the Niger Delta.'