By Emmanuel Addeh in Yenagoa
Youths of Ijaw and Igbo descents weekend met in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, with a vow to support only presidential candidates with a clear roadmap to Nigeria’s restructuring.
Coming under the umbrella of the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) Worldwide and the Ohanaeze Youth Council (OYC) the youth leaders insisted that only a restructuring of the country could bring effective governance and development.
At the meeting which held at the Ijaw House, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, the youth groups agreed that returning Nigeria to a truly federal state would be in the interest of all and urged all their members to cast their votes for only such candidates whose view align with the notion.
On the side of the Igbo youths were the South-South Coordinator of OYC, Chief Chinedu Arthur-Ugwa; South-South Secretary, OYC, Ogoegbunam Ifeanyi; OYC leaders, Cross River, Remy Agwuzie; Delta State, Chief Chris Ezeukwu; Rivers State, Ezeilo Franklin and Akwa Ibom, Chief Nelson Udeze.
At a meeting with the leadership of the IYC, Central Zone, chaired by Mr. Tare Porri, the OYC called on the Federal Government to immediately set up machinery to change the current governance structure.
“It has become more strident even as it has been generally agreed by all ethnic nationalities and even the political party at the centre that there is a need to restructure the Nigerian state for better efficiency,” it said.
The youths also asked the multinational companies to relocate their headquarters to the Niger Delta region in line with the directive of the federal government.
They said the relocation would enhance harmonious relationship between the oil companies and their host communities and further enthrone mutual trust, respect and peace in the region.
Arthur-Ugwa, who is also the Bayelsa State President of OYC said the youths were making plans to hold a summit on restructuring.
In his remarks, the IYC Central leader, Porri, lauded his Igbo counterparts for their position on restructuring saying it agreed with the views of the Bayelsa Governor, Seriake Dickson.
Porri said: “We have resolved to have a cordial relationship with the Igbos across the world. Anywhere you see Igbo man and Ijaw man we are friends and brothers. This will further encourage us to be our brothers’ keepers.
“We have also reaffirmed our commitment, support and solidarity with our fathers around the world on the resolution that the 2019 general election is a referendum on restructuring.
“The youth wings of Ijaw nation and Ohaneze have resolved that we are working together to vote for a presidential candidate that believes in the restructuring of this country.”