IYC To Obong Attah, Others: We'll Resist Attempt To Suffocate Ijaws In Akwa-Ibom, Rivers, Delta, Edo, Ondo States
BEVERLY HILLS, August 25, (THEWILL) - Foremost Ijaw youth organisation, the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) Worldwide said it would resist any attempt to suffocate its people in Akwa Ibom, Rivers, Delta, Edo as well as Ondo State.
The group stated this following opposition against the demands by the Ijaws for the creation of Oil River State from the present Akwa-Ibom and River State by some delegates to the just-concluded National Conference.
Delegates from Akwa Ibom State led by Obong Victor Attah, Chief Nduese Essien and others had petitioned the Chairman of the just concluded 2014 National Conference, Justice Idris Kutigi, expressing opposition to the recommendation for the creation of Oil Rivers State from the present Rivers and Akwa Ibom States on the ground that Akwa Ibom stakeholders were not consulted and that no part of Akwa Ibom state should be excised to form Oil Rivers State for the Ijaw people of Rivers and Akwa Ibom States.
But reacting to the publication made in several dallies and credited to the trio of Obong Victor Attah, Chief Nduese Essien and others, IYC said that contrary to the position of some of the delegates from Akwa Ibom State, the National Conference actually recommended the creation of the Oil Rivers State consequent upon the request made by the Ijaw people of Akwa Ibom and Rivers States.
According to the statement made issued by the IYC's spokesman, Barrister Eric Omare, the recommendation was presented before plenary and was adopted by the entire conference in plenary together with the map of the proposed state showing the Ijaw communities in Akwa Ibom State proposed to be included as part of Oil Rivers State
The IYC states that the demand for the creation of Oil Rivers State predates the 2014 National Conference, adding that it is significant to note that the Ijaw people through the Ijaw National Congress (INC) demanded for three homogenous states during the Babangida and Abacha eras to wit: Bayelsa, Oil Rivers and Toru-Ebe States.
However, only Bayelsa State was eventually created.
'And more recently, when the National Assembly called for the submission of memorandum for the creation of states, the Ijaw people of Rivers and Akwa Ibom states submitted a memorandum for the creation of Oil Rivers State which was signed by all the Local Government legislators, Houses of Assemblies members and National Assembly members of Ijaw extraction from Rivers and Akwa Ibom States.
'This requested was also presented before the Senate Committee on the Review of the 1999 Constitution by the leaders of the proposed Oil Rivers State in Calabar in 2012.
Consequently, the group noted that, Obong Victor Attah, Chief Nduese Essien and others who signed the petition against the creation of Oil Rivers State lacks the locus to do so as the proposed Oil Rivers State is only for the Ijaw people and land inhabited by the Ijaw people of Rivers and Akwa Ibom States.
'The petitioners are not part of the proposed state, hence they lack the locus to oppose the creation of Oil Rivers State, ' IYC said.
The statement added: 'Therefore, we call on the relevant authorities to disregard the protest as the proposed Oil Rivers State deserved to be created on merit.
'The IYC wishes to make it abundantly clear that anybody or group of people opposing the creation of homogenous Ijaw states for the Ijaw people of Akwa Ibom and Rivers State on one hand, and the Ijaw people of Delta, Edo and Ondo States on the other hand are threats to the existence of Ijaw people and we are ready to take any step to protect our existence.
'The IYC would not sit back and allow Ijaw people to be politically and economically oppressed and suffocated in Akwa Ibom, Rivers, Delta, Edo and Ondo States.'