YENAGOA – Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) has demanded that the Federal Government creates two homogenous states of Toru-Ibe and Oil Rivers as one of the measures of resolving the issue of marginalisation of the Ijaw ethnic nationality in the federation.
Eric Omare, President of the IYC, made the demand on Tuesday during the opening ceremony of the golden jubilee celebration of late Isaac Jasper Adaka Boro, the icon of Ijaw struggles, at his hometown, Kaiama, in Kolokuma/Opokuma Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.
Omare said that the proposed Toru-Ibe State would cater for the Ijaw people of Ondo, Edo and Delta states on the western flank while Oil Rivers State would accommodate the Ijaw people of Akwa Ibom and Rivers states on the eastern flank.
Omare stressed that the Ijaw people would better freely express their political aspirations if they had these two states without inhibition.
He argued that the Ijaw areas covered by the proposed Toru-Ibe and Oil Rivers states are geographically contiguous and linguistically homogenous.
Omare lamented that 50 years after Boro died while fighting for the freedom of his people, the political fortunes of the Ijaw people had not changed for the better.
He complained that the Ijaw ethnic nationality had been balkanised into six different states mainly as minorities and subjected to all sorts of political suppression and oppression.
The IYC President also bemoaned the situation whereby the Ijaw people, who are the fourth largest ethnic nationality in Nigeria, and the first to ask for state creation through late Harold Dappa-Biriye at the London Constitutional Conference, have only one homogenous state, Bayelsa, in a 36-state federation.
He said, “This is oppressive and totally unacceptable to the Ijaw people, especially considering the fact that majority of the resources being used to fund the 36 states of the federation and the federal and local governments of the country, are from the Ijaw territory.
“The only way restructuring can make sense to the Ijaw people is for these two states to be created and this was a key part of the struggle of the late Isaac Adaka Boro while he was alive.
“It is sad that 50 years after the demise of the late Adaka Boro, his dream of political autonomy for the Ijaw people is yet to be fulfilled.”
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