Simon Utebor, Yenagoa
Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson has called on the leadership of the Ijaw Youth Council to raise the legitimate issues of economic marginalisation and environmental pollution affecting the region.
He also called on the apex Ijaw youth body to collaborate with the government in addressing the age-long problems of under-development of the Ijaw nation by successive administrations at the federal level.
Dickson made the call when the youth body led by its President, Mr. Roland Oweilaemi, paid him a courtesy call in Government House, Yenagoa, a statement on Friday said.
He urged them to take deliberate steps in sensitising the youths of the region against cult activities, drug abuse and other related negative vices.
The Governor, who expressed dismay over the state of the region, in spite of its huge contributions to the economic growth of the country, called on political leaders and those in positions of trust to protect the collective interest of the Ijaw nation.
While noting that, the people of the Niger Delta had been neglected and oppressed for too long, he called for a change of tactics and strategy.
He said that the struggle to emancipate the Ijaw nation was not all about carrying weapons, but through intellectual and persuasive means.
Dickson said, “The Ijaw nation is oppressed in Nigeria, and those of us in position should fight and protect the Ijaw interest. The weapons and strategy for the struggle must change.
‘’For 60 years, there is no road to Bonny and Brass, where crude oil is lifted daily. No airport in the Ijaw nation, no oil company operating in the state pays taxes to contribute to the economy.
“The IYC must continue to raise the legitimate issues without fear of intimidation. I expect you to mobilise and raise the consciousness of the people about the precarious situation we are in.”
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