N’ Delta Youths Mourn Alamieyeseigha …Renew Call For Self-Determination

By Emmanuel Ogba

As the remains of the late first civilian Governor of Bayelsa State, Chief Diepreye Alamieyeseigha were buried Saturday at his home town, Amasoma, youth of Niger Delta region have eulogized the fallen-Ijaw leader, describing him as a courageous hero who stood firmly in the struggle for emancipation of the region.

The youth, who spoke under the aegis of the Niger Delta Youth Coalition (NDYC) said, “he would be remembered for leading our struggle for resource control and a strong voice for the deprived and marginalised region.

“Alams was the Governor-General of Niger Delta, he believed in the oneness of the deprived Niger Delta people. So, the youth of the region, especially those from Ijaw ethnic nationality will never forget him for boldly standing for us”.

The National Co-ordinator of NDYC, Prince Emanuel Ogba, who spoke in Port Harcourt, yesterday, said though Alamieyeseigha stood for resource control, the youth today yearn for self-determination.

He condemned the present system of government which requires the state governors across the nation to always run cap-in-hand to Abuja for Federal allocation, stressing that Nigerians will get it right only when various states of the Federation tap and control their resources and pay tax to the centre.

“The is true Federation. This is how those developed democracies in the world we are copying from, run their own federalism. We wish to use the ceremony of Alam’s burial, who was notable in the struggle, to call on the Federal Government to operate true federalism as obtained in other democracies of the world”, he stated.

According to him, the call is no longer focused on the crude reserves in Niger Delta, but on other abundant resources present in all the states of the country.

“The fall in oil price”, he said, “should be an eye-opener to those who think that the Nigerian economy should be confined to oil reserve.

“President Muhammadu Buhari has gone to China to borrow money because Nigeria is broke simply because oil price has fallen. What of agricultural potential, solid minerals, and several other resources which remain dormant because we wrongly believe that only crude oil can solve all our problems.

“For decades, experts from several quarters have been advocating for diversification into other sectors but these calls were misunderstood”, he said.

The NDYC Co-ordinator, who commended the youth of the region for coming out en mass for the burial of late Alamieyeseigha as a mark for respect, called on them to stand firm for self-determination because, according to him, the future is bleak and there is every need to protect future generations.

He reminded the youth of the sacrifices made by past heroes of the region such as Isaac Adaka Boro, Chief Melford Obene Okilo, Ken Saro-Wiwa, Chief Harold Dappa-Biriye and others, noting that the present youth owe it a duty to keep the struggle for self-determination on.