Ijaw Youth Council, IYC, Worldwide, has called on the Federal Government, FG, to have an economic plan as an alternative for the people of the Niger Delta region who are involved in the oil bunkering activities and illegal refinery before stopping them from accessing their only means of livelihood in the creeks.
President of the IYC Comrade Udengs Eradiri who stated this in a chat with newsmen in Yenagoa said as the government is stopping them from their means of livelihood the people must also be involved in the participation of their resources, stressing that when they are denied access to their own resources it would give rise to another form of militancy in the region.
Eradiri also described as sad, the spate of oil theft in the Niger Delta saying it is a crime against humanity because the livelihood of the people is bastardized while the people are also killed and are forced into a quest for survival .
“I have said in the past much as we support your war against oil theft, it must come with an economic plan as an alternative so that as you are going in to stop them from their way of life, you provide them an alternative.
“They are over five hundred youths, call it legally or illegally engaged and employed in the creeks, this same people are now coming to the society.
“That’s why you are seeing the increase in crime, robbery is going up, kidnapping is on the increase, they are kidnapping even icefish sellers now, because when you destroy their means of livelihood, you don’t create any alternative.
“It is a deliberate ploy to destabilize the Niger Delta so that businesses would not come here’ they say oil theft is economic sabotage, what of the illegal mining that are going on in the north, is that not worst economic sabotage.
At a point there was lead poisoning as a result of illegal mining, and the monies that they realize from illegal mining is huge, why do we not have the JTF policing illegal miners, knowing fully well that the monies realized from gold illegally mined is far much more than monies realized from stolen oil.
“The Retired Generals have mines of their own in the north, the statistics are there, why are we not talking about those minerals in the north that are illegally mines to the pockets of individuals, why is it that only Niger Delta oil that is in the pages of newspapers.”
The IYC President also calls for proper investigation on how oil blocks were shared, adding that if President Muhammadu Buhari is sincere with his anti corruption drive, he should also visit and investigate owners of Nigeria oil blocks.
“ We must also investigate how those oil blocks were shared , did it followed due process?, The UK government should stay away from Diezani, this was how they muscle up and now Alamieseigha is dead, now they have started with Diezani, they should leave Ijaw People alone.
“Are they not other governors that have stolen?, Go to UK almost all the streets are owned by northerners who stole Nigeria money, so why are they just on Goodluck Jonathan’ men, just to demonized Goodluck, Goodluck should have won Nobel Prize for peace, Goodluck deserves a Nobel peace prize, Goodluck deserves respect from Nigerians, as far as we are concern the anti-corruption fight is a fight against the Ijaw people.”
The IYC President also expressed worry that the Single Treasury Account system is already having a toll on the economy of the country, adding that the Amnesty and the Niger Delta Development Commission NDDC are having the effects as according to him projects are suffering in the region.
Eradiri said the Amnesty Programme is in jeopardy as the activities at the office is more of a snail speed because the Single Treasury Account system is making it so difficult for these institutions to carry out their constitutional and statutory functions.
The IYC however call on President Muhammadu Buhari to exempt the NDDC and the Amnesty office in order for these institutions to freely carry out their responsibilities of training young people from this region as at when due and also developing the Niger Delta.
The Ijaw Youth Council IYC also condemned the cancellation of the Maritime University in Delta state by the present administration.

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