Dickson cautions against division in INC, IYC

Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa.

The Governor of Bayelsa State, Seriake Dickson, has cautioned against division in the Ijaw National Congress (IYC) and the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC),

He urged support for the reconciliation efforts of the two umbrella bodies.

According to him, the two organisations are critical to the effective coordination of the people’s struggle against emergent challenges in the national space.

The Special Adviser to the Governor on Media Relations, Fidelis Soriwei, conveyed this position in Port Harcourt at a consultative meeting with Ijaw leaders and elders.

The leaders were drawn from the eastern zone of the Ijaw nation, which is made up of Rivers and Akwa Ibom states.

The governor’s position was a reaction to the concerns raised by a four-time Minister, Alabo Tonye Graham-Douglas, who hosted the meeting.

He said: “Our leader raised the issue of the IYC, which is also one of the main reasons I am here. We cannot afford a divided and fragmented INC, we cannot also afford a fragmented IYC.”

“These are essential organs of the Ijaw struggle and movement. Just as I raised these issues while consulting with Pa Edwin Clark in his home, I am here to consult with you on the way forward.”

Dickson also spoke on the burning issue of restructuring, and asked the Ijaw to be united in the demand for a restructured Nigerian federation that would guarantee economic justice and freedom.

He said the Ijaw ethnic nationality was strongly desirous of a Nigerian system where they would be given the right to organise themselves to benefit from the natural resources in their soil.

“We all know where the Ijaw nation stands on the issue of restructuring. Our position is to fight for a restructured, just, equitable, egalitarian and democratic Nigeria, where all of us have the respect that we rightly deserve.

“Our people have the necessary freedom to organise ourselves and to benefit from the endowment that nature had put in our soil.

“We are all united about this and there is no argument about it in the entire Ijaw nation. To advance these things, we need to be on one page. So again, I call for unity, forgiveness to support a reorganised, virile and cohesive Ijaw nation,” he said.

The governor commended the people for the prevalence of peace in the communities and urged them to continue to give the necessary support to the leadership in their states.

He expressed delight at the emergence of a son of the area, Prince Uche Secondus, as the National Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

He enjoined the people to maintain the peace in the area, despite the various challenges.

Also, the well-attended meeting of the leaders and elders agreed to establish a think-tank on modalities for mobilisation for restructuring.

The body is saddled with the responsibility of monitoring and evaluating development efforts in business, politics, and socio-cultural endeavours.

The host, Graham-Douglas, said the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) had failed in its statutory duty to uplift the development of the impoverished oil-bearing communities in the Niger Delta.



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