The Ijaw Youths Council (IYC), through its president, Comrade Udengs Eradiri, has called on President Goodluck Jonathan to go ahead and contest the 2015 presidential elections, saying they are solidly behind him.
The youths, who said they won’t shed any blood to help actualize their kinsman’s ambition, however, warned the Boko Haram insurgents to stop what they called “this rubbish”, in reference to the wave of attacks carried out by the sect.
In a statement during the inauguration of various projects in Gbaramatu Kingdom in Delta State on Saturday, May 10, 2014, Eradiri told the president in no uncertain terms that he must rule till 2019 or else he won’t be allowed to step foot on Niger Delta soil
“You must accept to do a second term in office or else we won’t allow you come back home”, Eradiri said.
He continued: “Your tenure ends in 2019. We’ll inform Boko Haram strongly to stop this rubbish. But as a President, you must face fire and brimstone to become stronger and better. That’s why we kept quiet. We know when to act. But we won’t shed blood for 2015. But you’re contesting. We’ll support you to win. We’ll build bridges across various ethnic divides. We’ll put common sense on the table. We’ll go across all ethnic nationalities to make people see reason why you should complete your tenure. Ijaw youths are behind you”.
The IYC president noted that the Niger/Delta struggle was merely an agitation for economic and political survival.
“To realize this, we know education is key. And we’re happy with the amnesty programme and the University being commissioned today”, he noted.
Eradiri further implored President Jonathan to address the challenges of the post-amnesty programme as most of those trained in various fields were yet to be gainfully employed.
“Before the amnesty, oil companies claimed they could not employ our youths. But now, they are fully trained and yet they’re not absorbed. Please Mr. President, look into this issue”, he stated.
“Tell the oil companies to engage us. We are well-trained. We are even the best graduating students in some places like France and yet no job. Again we’re not happy with the issue of selling of oil fields without our inputs. We should have the first right of refusal. Shell has no business doing that. We have capacity to handle what Shell is doing”, he stressed.
He also urged the president to engage Niger Delta youths in various communities in pipelines security as they are familiar with the terrain.
Also speaking at the event, Transport Minister, Senator Idris Umar, commended the president’s determination at transforming the maritime sector and the nation as a whole.