he Spokesman of the Ijaw Youths Council (IYC) Worldwide, Comr. Ebilade Ekerefe has lambasted the federal government for paying lip attention to the sufferings and demands of the people of the Niger Delta Region and warns that if urgent steps are not taken to restructure the Country to reflect true federalism, he is afraid Nigeria will become history.
This was contained in an interview session with Ijeoma of AIT (Democracy Today) to commemorate the gruesome murder of environmental rights activists, Ken Saro Wiwa by the Nigerian state under the dictatorship of Gen. Sani Abacha in 1995.
Comr. Ebilade stated that 25years after the murder of Ken Saro Wiwa, the Niger Delta region is still perpetually in a sorry and devastating state as a result of oil pollution and gas flaring by multinational oil companies in collaboration with the federal government.
“If Nigeria must see the light of tomorrow, then there’s an urgent need to restructure it to reflect true federalism. The crude oil has negative effects on the crops. When our farmers plant crops, they all die. So we are suffering, we are hungry, there is nothing to feed on here. We are refugees in our communities, hunger is our name, we can’t eat what we plant anymore because of oil spillage and environmental degradation caused by multinational oil companies who has failed in the discharge of their corporate social responsibilities to keep our land clean and safe”
“For there to be fairness, justice and equitable distribution of political power and in our bid to keep the Country united, there’s no better time to restructure this Country than now. Now is the time to allow every region control their natural resources and remit royalties to the federal government”
He also, commended Zamfara state for mining her gold and selling same to the federal government while insisting that the Niger Delta will also sell her oil and gas resources and pay tax to the federal government. According to him, for the purpose of fairness and equity, the equilibrium should be set straight. 13% derivation is not enough, “we want to control our resources and give what is due the federal government to them and not the other way round”
He further siege the medium to call on the armed forces to restrain from their continued military invasion in the Niger Delta (communities). In a strong term, he made it known that the endless dehumanizing act of the military on the innocent and harmless residents of the Niger Delta Region will not be further tolerated.
“The Ijaws by all standard are peace loving people, and to have a clearer picture of this claims, we can reminisce on the virtues of Ken Saro Wiwa as a non violent revolutionary activist who fourth for environmental justice and remediation by leading a peaceful movement for the survival of the Ogoni people which led to his eventual murder”
He concluded by saying that until the demands of the Niger delta people are attended to, the IYC cannot guarantee peace and stability within the Niger Delta going forward.
Comr. Alaibiye Yei, DG New Media to the IYC National Spokesman.
Comr. Daniel Runo For Goldam Services.