Saturday, July 8, 2017 7:30 pm
Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt
Eric Omare, factional President of Ijaw Youth Council, IYC, the umbrella body of Ijaw youths world has warned Nnamdi Kanu and other Igbo secessionist agitators to steer clear of Ijawland and its people in their quest for a Biafran Republic.
Eric Omare, who was the spokesman of IYC in the immediate past executive said Ijaw nation is not part and would never be part of Biafra even in the future, stressing that Ijaw struggle was on even before Biafra was conceived.
Omare who made this known at his inaugural speech as the 7th president of Ijaws Youth Council, IYC worldwide however noted Ijaw and Biafra have common interest of self-determination, and nothing else.
He said his direction as the 7th elected president of IYC was to work towards actualization of self determination and resource control for the Ijaw nation, adding that he would engage other ethnic groups in the Niger Delta to achieve this.
He said as the 7th President of IYC, he was ready to fight for political structure where all Ijaw people, regardless of the state they fall under, would be brought together as one nation indeed.
“We do not want a situation as it is now where the Ijaw people are balkanized in six different states as minorities, except in Bayelsa.
In Ondo State, Ijaw people are minorities, whereas we are the mainstay of that state. In Edo State, the Ijaw people are not just minorities but they are treated like third class citizens.
“In Delta, especially the main part where we are standing here, we are treated as second class citizens. We can vote but cannot be voted for.
“We cannot contest for election as a House of Assembly member. We cannot put in a council member without begging. In Warri South, we cannot even produce a councilor.
“In Bayelsa, even with the enormous resources that we have, we have nothing to show for it. Similar problem exists in Akwa-Ibon and Rivers States. Therefore, what my leadership will be fighting for is a political structure that will bring all Ijaw people together.
“Ijaw people are not part of Biafra territory; we have a self-determination struggle that has been in existence even before Biafran people came up.
“Some of you are aware that our leader, Maj. Jackson Adaka Boro declared a 12 day revolution before Ojukwu declared Biafran Republic. Therefore, the Ijaw people cannot be subjected to the Biafran republic.”
“All Ijaw people must be in one political structure and have control of their resources,” he added
On restructuring, the factional IYC president said it is unstoppable. Omare promised to agitate for the relocation of oil companies’ operational headquarters to the Niger Delta region and establishment of modular refineries in the region as the president of IYC.