By Emma Amaize
WARRIâ€”YOUTH leaders in the Niger-Delta have called on the governors of the region to initiate a process of interface among themselves and with lawmakers from the area to form a synergy that will properly articulate the demands of the people of the region.
They made the call in a communiquÃ© issued at the end of a consultative meeting in Asaba, where they resolved to adopt the Niger-Delta Ethnic Nationalities Youth Leaders Forum as a strategic platform for Niger-Delta agitation.
Youth leaders who attended the meeting were the president of Ijaw Youth Council, Dr. Chris Ekiyor, president of Urhobo Youth Council, Mr. Godwin Okporoko, president of Itsekiri National Youth Council, Mr. David Tonwe, president of Isoko National Youth Movement, Mr. Zino Onaemor, president of Benin National Congress, Mr. Aiyamekhue Edokpolo, and president of Ibibio Youth Forum, Mr. Imoh Okoko.
The forum observed that the use of military force in the region has remained counter-productive, as was evident in the response by militants in the recent Cordon and Search operation by the Joint Task Force on the Niger-Delta and urged the Federal Government to order a demilitarization of the area. It, nevertheless, welcomed the declaration of ceasefire by both the militants and the JTF and joined those calling for a return to true federalism in the country.
The youth leaders also frowned on the decision of the federal government to downgrade the Petroleum Training Institute in Effurun, near Warri, Delta state, while the Kaduna Petroleum College was upgraded.End