December 11, (THEWILL) – The Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Dr Samuel Ogbuku, has called on the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) to support the administration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to promote peace in the Niger Delta region.
Ogbuku made the appeal during a Dinner and Awards Night to mark the 25th Silver Jubilee of the Kaiama Declaration and foundation of the Ijaw Youth Council, IYC, in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.
He noted that the Ijaw ethnic nationality recorded tremendous successes 25 years after the Kaiama Declaration, stating that it was necessary to collaborate with the government to maintain peace and stop crude oil theft so that the Nigerian economy would grow.
“Let us ensure that, through the IYC, we collaborate with the government to enthrone peace in our society. When the IYC promotes peace, I believe the government will also work with them to achieve more because what the government needs is peace and where there is peace there is bound to be development.
“As a people, I want us to support the present administration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to ensure that we partner with the government at the centre to attract more development to our people in the Niger Delta region.
“We should be able to prove that we can support the Federal Government to stop crude oil theft so that the economy of Nigeria will be more prosperous. If we do this, there will be more reward for us as a people,” Ogbuku advised.
The NDDC boss said that the Niger Delta region had gone beyond the stage of arms struggle and violent agitations, noting that it was time to engage in intellectual struggle as the Nigerian society had responded positively to the agitations of the Ijaw people.
“Twenty-five years after, we all agree that the agitations were worth it. Within this period, the Ijaw nation has produced the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, that is because we made the world to hear our voice”, he said.
According to Ogbuku, the emergence of Dr Goodluck Jonathan as President in 2010, the establishment of the NDDC, Presidential Amnesty Programme, PAP, and the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, were some of the recorded gains.
“Twenty-five years after, some of us have been given positions of authority in recognition of our struggle. Today, I am also a living example and one of those beneficiaries. I always tell people that my political history cannot be complete without mentioning IYC. I want to declare that I remain a proud member of IYC.
“We have made some mistakes. We have had losses but I believe that the successes and the gains we have made overshadow these losses. I want to encourage all of us as IYC members to continue in this intellectual struggle where we have the opportunity to compete with other parts of Nigeria.
“Today, one of your own is at the helm of affairs at the NDDC but I don’t think that is enough for us, we still need more and that is why we need to be competitive. We need to let the government know that there are other areas that need to be fixed,” he added.
IYC President, Jonathan Lokpobiri, paid tribute to the founding fathers of the Ijaw nation and assured them that they would sustain the Ijaw struggle at the intellectual level.
He said the new leadership of the IYC would create opportunities for the youths to be trained in different vocations for a more sustainable development of the people.
According to him, the Ijaw people would continue to tell their story until they get the desired attention from the relevant authorities.
The high point of the occasion was the launching of the official website of the IYC by the NDDC Managing Director.