Youth leaders in the nine states constituting the Niger Delta region have called on the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government to quickly set up its negotiation team to discuss with their leaders on the crisis rocking the region.
The youth leaders, under the aegis of Niger Delta Ethnic Nationalities Youth Leaders Council, made the call in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital, after rising from their crucial meeting on the state of the region.
The meeting was attended by youth leaders from 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 of IYC, Mr. Udengs Eradiri, who briefed journalists on the outcome of the meeting, said the youth leaders advised that if the Federal Government desired peace, security and development of the region, it should do the needful by urgently constituting its own negotiation.
The youth leaders recalled that since the November 1, 2016 meeting between the Niger Delta leaders and the Federal Government, the Federal Government had yet to set up its own dialogue team to interface with their leaders on the problems in the region.
In a communiqué issued at the end of the meeting, the youths urged the Federal Government to quickly set up its negotiation team to urgently resolve the crisis in the Niger Delta.
They added that the whole world was waiting for the government to do the needful.
“As it stands, the knife and the yam are in the hands of the Federal Government regarding the Niger Delta crisis,” they stated.
The leaders also urged the Federal Government to stop the invasion of the Niger Delta communities, insisting that there were better ways to resolve crime in the region.
Besides, they asked the government to deploy its intelligence apparatus in the resolution of the problems, noting that it had been discovered that intelligence had recorded more successes than the option of military invasion.
The leaders stated, “The recent invasion in Delta State had more of children, women and the elderly as major casualties. 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 the government will better resolve the issues than military option.”
They also urged the 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 in the region.