Comrade Eric Omare, the spokesperson of the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) worldwide on Friday, vehemently rejected the creation of additional eighteen states as recommended by the delegates at the ongoing National Conference.
The group in a statement issued in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, alleged that the move was aimed at favouring some ethnic nationalities, noting that the Ijaw being the fourth largest ethnic nationality in the country was deliberately left out in the proposed state creation exercise as part of its continued segregation by authorities.
National Conference Delegates
According to Vanguard, the Ijaw ethnic nationality also requested for a creation of two additional states; Toru-Ebe State from the present Delta, Edo and Ondo States and Oil Rivers State from the present Rivers and Akwa Ibom States, but unfortunately the conference committee on Political Restructuring and Forms of Government recommended creation of additional 18 states across the country but declined the Ijaw people’s request.
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“It is totally unacceptable for the Conference to recommend the creation of additional 18 states without considering the requests of the Ijaw Ethnic Nationality which is Nigeria’s 4th largest tribe. The conference recommendations are geared towards empowering some ethnic nationalities to have more political control to the detriment of other ethnic nationalities in Nigeria and in total disregard to the political marginalisation and oppression of the Ijaws of Delta, Edo and Ondo states who requested for the creation of Toru-Ebe State and the Ijaw of Rivers and Akwa Ibom states who requested for the creation of Oil Rivers State” Omare said. “It is on record that the Ijaw were the first to demand for a region of their own even before the Nigerian independence in 1960. At that time there were only three regions in Nigeria which today has increased to 36 states and if Confab recommendations are implemented, they would now be 54 to 55 states out of which the North would have 28 states; Yoruba: 9 states; Ibos: 9 states, with additional two to three in south-south, but Ijaw that is the fourth largest tribe that requested for a region of their own even before independence and their leader Major Isaac Boro declared a 12 Day Republic partly because of state creation would have only one state: Bayelsa State”.
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The IYC in the statement noted that they would not allow Ijaw resources to be used to fund and develop other states to their own disadvantage, noting that without the creation of Toru-Ebe and Oil Rivers States to liberate them politically, they would have no other option than to reconsider their position in the country.
“In the coming days, Ijaw Youth leaders would meet to take a position especially to consider the role of Ijaw delegates at the ongoing National Confab, who have been docile without an agenda” he said.
It would be recalled that delegates at the ongoing national conference on Thursday July 3, 2014, unanimously supported the creation of 18 more additional states to add to the current 36 states of the federation.