….urges FG to tackle flooding in N/Delta
The leadership of the Ijaw Youths Council Worldwide has said it would not tolerate any form of bloodshed before, during and after the forthcoming governorship election in Bayelsa State.
To this end, the council called on politicians involved in the November 11 governorship election in the State to play by the rules and avoid heating the polity,
The IYC in a communiqué after its Executive Council meeting sent to newsmen in Port Harcourt on Sunday, appealed to the federal and state governments to find a lasting solution to the rampaging flood in the Niger Delta region.
The IYC in the communique signed by its President, Dr. Alayi Theophilus, urged politicians to shun acts that are capable of creating tension in the state, even as the election draws closer.
The communiqué reads, “It is our firm belief that the lives and safety of Ijaw citizens should always supersede political considerations and electoral processes. We shall hold politicians responsible if any Ijaw life is lost during and after the election.
“The IYC shall not fold her arms to see that the existing peace we enjoy in the state is damaged. We advise all politicians to shun hate speeches and focus on telling us their manifestos. Our lives are worth more than any political ambition.”
While commending the federal government and other organizations for their support to victims of floods in the region, IYC said there must be construction of critical drainage systems and dredging of flood-prone communities in the region to permanently address the issue.
The IYC President said, “Recognizing the recurring nature of these disasters, we urgently call upon both federal and state governments to prioritize and implement enduring solutions.
“This includes the construction of various drainage systems to the tributaries that will offload the water to the sea and initiate comprehensive coastline dredging. The Bola Ahmed Tinubu-led government must make our abandoned dam in Adamawa functional and create an additional three dams within the flood channels to cushion the effect of floods in subsequent years.
“These dams, when completed, and made functional, will not just serve as water reservoir but also as a source of hydropower that will add to the national grid.
“Ijaw people are yet to recover from the trauma caused by last year’s flooding. Goods worth billions of naira were destroyed and strange diseases are being experienced to date. The palliative can never be compared to the disaster we are experiencing.”
The IYC accused the Delta State Governor of marginalizing Ijaw communities in the state in his recent award of N78bn contracts.
“While we acknowledge and commend the Delta State Governor for his efforts in awarding a significant N78bn contract, we find it disheartening to observe the marginalization of the Ijaw territories. Projects like the Ayakoromo bridge which is barely N6bn to completion are begging for attention.
“The Ojobo road is abandoned. It is therefore unjust to exclude Ijaw territories in the N78bn contract awarded by the Delta State Government. The IYC calls on the Delt Government to review his move to include Ijaw communities. We assert that the interests of all communities must be earnestly considered in development initiatives”.
The council further condemned all forms of police brutality within the Niger Delta region particularly recent incidents in Delta State and Rivers State and demanded justice for victims.
The IYC warned against external interference in the surveillance activities of the Federal Government and NNPC insisting that Tompolo had demonstrated effectiveness in handling contracts awarded to his company.