YOUTH leaders under the aegis of Niger Delta Ethnic Nationalities Youth Leaders Council have called on the federal government to quickly set up its own negotiation team to discuss with their leaders on the crisis rocking the region. They made the call in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital, yesterday, after a crucial meeting on the state of the region. The meeting had in attendance youth leaders from the Ijaw Youth Council Worldwide,Urhobo Progressive Union Youth Wing Worldwide; Itsekiri National Youth Council Worldwide; Ndokwa Youth Council Worldwide; Edo Youth Council Worldwide; Ikwerre Youth Council Worldwide; and Ibibio Youth Council Worldwide among others. The President, IYC, Mr.Udengs Eradiri, who briefed journalists on the outcome of the meeting`, said they were unanimous that if the federal government desires peace, security and development of the region, it should do the needful by constituting its own negotiation team urgently. The youth leaders recalled that since the November 1meeting between Niger Delta leaders and the federal government, the government is yet to set up its own dialogue team to interface with their leaders on the problems in the region. “We urge the federal government to quickly set up its negotiation team to urgently resolve the crisis in the Niger Delta. You will agree with me that the whole world has been waiting for the government to do the needful. “As it stands, the knife and yam are in the hands of the federal government when it concerns this Niger Delta crisis.” The leaders also urged the government to stop the invasion of Niger Delta communities, insisting that there are better ways of resolving criminal issues.
They urged government to deploy its intelligence apparatus in the resolution of the crisis in the region, saying it has been discovered that intelligence had recorded more success than the option of military invasion. “The recent invasion of Delta State had more of children, women and the elderly as major casualties. So, we call on the federal government to do more on intelligence to resolve the issues. But above all, the political will on the part of government will better resolve the issues than military option.” They also urged government to quickly resolve the legal issues relating to the Maritime University in Delta State, insisting that such a move would discourage vandalism and destruction of critical national assets. Their communiqué reads in part “the governors in the Niger Delta should do more in resolving the militancy and other criminal issues.They (governors) should set up an economic plan to take the region out of the crisis. “We are saying this because liberation itself cannot come from external forces, but must be internally driven. What are Niger Delta governors doing genuinely on their own part to resolve these crisis? “We are yet to see that kind of action on the part of the governors. Everybody is just waiting for the federal government. Governors in this region must meet, engage stakeholders and begin to resolve the problems. “The country is facing an economic crisis; what are our governors doing to come out with an economic plan to take this region out of poverty and militancy? As I speak to you, the conditions in the Niger Delta are getting out of hand; there is widespread poverty and criminality is going up everyday.So we call on our governors to provide leadership, economic, political land developmental leadership.”

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