Radical Ijaw youth organization, the Ijaw Youth Council Worldwide, has rejected the recommendation of the National Conference on creation of 18 additional states.
The group said that the recommendation was skewed in favour of some ethnic nationalities to the extreme detriment of the Ijaw people in the country.
In a statement signed by the IYC’s spokesman, Eric Omare, a lawyer said that Ijaws were the first to make a request for the creation of two additional states to wit: Toru-Ebe State from the present Delta, Edo and Ondo States and Oil Rivers State from the present Rivers and Akwa Ibom States.
The statement regretted however that the conference committee on Political Restructuring and Forms of Government recommended the creation of additional 18 states across the country without considering the Ijaw requests.
“It is totally unacceptable for the Conference to recommend the creation of additional 18 states without considering the requests of the Ijaw Ethnic Nationality which is Nigeria’s fourth largest tribe,” the IYC said.
According to the Ijaw youth organization, the conference recommendations are geared towards empowering some ethnic nationalities to have more political control to the detriment of other ethnic nationalities in Nigeria.
Specifically, the group said the recommendation of the conference was in total disregard to the political marginalisation and oppression of the Ijaws of Delta, Edo and Ondo States, who, according to the IYC, had requested for “the creation of TORU-EBE STATE and the Ijaws of Rivers and Akwa Ibom states who requested for the creation of Oil Rivers STATE”.
The IYC recalled that Ijaws were the first to demand for a region of their own even before the Nigerian independence in 1960.
The statement added: “And at that time there were only three regions in Nigeria which today has increased to 36 states and if conference recommendations are implemented, they would now be 54 to 55 states out of which the North would have 28 states; Yoruba: 9 states; Ibos: 9 states, with additional two to three in south-south, but Ijaw that is the 4th largest tribe that requested for a region of their own even before independence and their leader Major Isaac Boro declared a 12 Day Republic partly because of state creation would have only one state: Bayelsa State.
“And without creation of TORU-EBE and OIL RIVER STATES to liberate the politically oppressed Ijaws, the Ijaw people would have no other option than to reconsider their position in Nigeria, the group threatens.
“In the coming days, Ijaw Youth leaders would meet to take a position especially to consider the role of Ijaw delegates at the ongoing National Confab, who have been docile without an agenda.”