Before, during, and after the governorship election on November 11 in Bayelsa State, the Ijaw Youths Council, IYC, Worldwide has issued a warning to politicians involved in the race, saying that they will not accept any type of bloodshed.
From its executive council meeting over the weekend, it issued an urgent plea to the federal and state governments for long-term relief from the Niger Delta’s flood disasters.
Signed by factional president Dr. Alayi Theophilus, the communique published by the council following their meeting urged all political actors and gladiators to avoid doing anything that could inflame tensions in Bayelsa ahead of the upcoming election.
He urged politicians instead to concentrate on convincing voters of the merits of their policies.
According to the Ijaw Youth Council, “Our firm belief is that the lives and safety of Ijaw citizens should always supersede political considerations and electoral processes.” Politicians will be held accountable for any loss of life among the Ijaw people before, during, or after an election.
To paraphrase, “The IYC shall not stand idly by while the peace we have in the state is eroded.” Our vote goes to the candidate who will tell us more about their platform and less about their opponents’. It’s not worth risking our lives for political gain.
While IYC applauds the federal government and other organizations for their aid to flood victims in the region, they warn that the situation will not be solved until the region’s most at-risk neighborhoods are dredged and equipped with crucial drainage systems.
Recognizing the cyclical nature of these tragedies, he urged the federal and state governments to act quickly to establish permanent remedies. Aside from starting a large-scale dredging project along the coast, this also involves building numerous drainage systems to the streams that will discharge the water to the sea.
As a means of mitigating the effects of flooding in future years, the Bola Ahmed Tinubu-led administration should restore power to our defunct dam in Adamawa and build three more dams along existing flood pathways. Once finished and fully operational, these dams will provide hydropower to the national grid in addition to acting as water reservoirs.
Many Ijaws still feel the effects of last year’s devastating floods. Strange ailments are still being reported and goods worth billions of naira were destroyed. No amount of palliative care could ever prepare us for the horror we are living through.
The Delta State Governor has been accused by the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) of discriminating against the Ijaw community when he awarded contracts worth N78 billion.
The council issued the following statement: “While we acknowledge and commend the Delta State Governor for his efforts in awarding a significant N78bn contract, we find it disheartening to observe the marginalization of the Ijaw territories.” The Ayakoromo bridge, which is only N6 billion away from completion, is a prime example of a project that needs immediate attention.
This is a dead end: the Ojobo road. Because of this, the Delta State Government’s N78bn contract’s exclusion of Ijaw areas is unfair. The Ijaw Youth Council has asked that the Delt Government reconsider his decision to exclude certain areas. We insist that genuine care be taken to account for the needs of all communities when planning for growth.
The council also requested justice for victims of police abuse throughout the Niger Delta area, specifically citing recent instances in Delta State and Rivers State.