Abuja—Elder statesman and leader of the Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) Chief Edwin Clark has called on all sons and daughters of Ijaw nation to support the newly elected leadership of Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) Worldwide, headed by the President, Sir Jonathan Lokpobiri, the Vanguard reports.
Clark who expressed joy that the body is now united also noted that the existing unity will further strengthen it in pursuing the interest of the Ijaw nation.
Playing host to Lokpobiri and members of the executive council of IYC in company of Amb. Godknows Igali at his residence in Abuja, the elder statesman urged the new leadership to make efforts to complement the Ijaw National Congress (INC) which he (Clark) sits as the BOT chairman in bringing to Ijaw interest at the front burner in national affairs.
He said, “Unity should be our strength, especially now that they have a presidency that is not divided this time. I think we should all support him.
“From what I have seen so far, I believe he has the personality, he is intelligent enough and he would be able to perform his duty.
“In all that happens, there cannot be two captains in a ship, the president is number one, others follow but he should work with them for the unity of IYC and for the betterment of Ijaw nation”.
Earlier in his remarks, the IYC President, Sir Jonathan Lokpobiri said as young persons, they have drawn inspiration from the doggedness and several sacrifices Chief Edwin Clark has made in protecting Ijaw interest.
While thanking him for the role he has played in the Niger Delta region, Lokpobiri expressed dissatisfaction that most of the promises made to the region through the Presidential Amnesty under the administration of late President Umar Musa Yar’Adua are being jettisoned.
“The challenges that our region and Ijaw nation face have not abated. Today I can tell you for free that the Amnesty Programme that our people laid their lives for, lost our peace in our community, lost our dignity as a people is now sold to people who have no bearing with our struggle.
“Today, those who are meant to manage this programme feel that the programme needs to end by all means necessary and are fighting our people from the basic survival that the programme offers”, he stated.
He expressed disappointment that the building of six mega cities in Niger Delta as proposed by the programme, in order to bridge the infrastructure gap in the region has been discarded.
While expressing gratitude to President Bola Tinubu for nominating an Ijaw son, Heineken Lokpobori as minister, the IYC leader insisted that it was grossly inadequate for a region that has the third largest population and benefactor of the country, calling for inclusion of more Ijaw sons and daughters in the FEC.
Speaking in the same vein, Spokesperson of IYC, Amb. Binebai Princewill said Ijaw people have for years lived in penury in the midst of plenty while strangers come to take the resources of the people, leaving them with nothing.
He vowed that under the Jonathan-led IYC, Ijaw people will participate in the management of the resources from their land.