By Egufe Yafugborhi & Perez Brisibe
IJAW youths under the platform of Ijaw Youth Council, IYC has said the opening of the Maritime University, Okerenkoko, Delta State for academic activities is the first condition for a roundtable discussion with the federal government.
IYC president, Udengs Eradiri made the declaration at Effurun, Delta State during the 2016 annual Major Isaac Boro anniversary celebration with the theme, “The ideals of Adaka Boro and the renewed militancy in the Niger Delta: The way forward.”
Udengs in his speech, said: “People have started discussing. There was a meeting in Abuja yesterday (Wednesday) but I told them that such meeting would not work.
“If they want us to talk, they must first open the Maritime University and start admitting students, then we would now sit and talk.”
Speaking further, he said: “The same issues for which Adaka Boro and Ken Sarowiwa were killed are the same issues the Avengers are raising.
“There are no Avengers anywhere. Settle these issues and the Avengers would fizzle away.”
In his remark, the lead speaker at the event, Tony Uranta said: “Isaac Boro and Ken Sarowiwa died fighting for the emancipation of the Niger Delta, later we had Asari Dokubo, Tompolo and others. “But because Tompolo was taken out, new faces have come up.
“Government must reassure the people of the Niger Delta that it is not yet ready to terminate the Amnesty Programme as there are still a lot of people yet to go for training.”
“If you don’t engage these people, you are building up an army of discontent and the government must restructure Nigeria to a true federalism.”
“On her part, co-speaker and rights activist, Annkio Briggs while taking a swipe on the federal government on the way and manner it is handling the agitations of the region, said: “What the people of the Niger Delta region are asking for is self determination.’’
“This is different from self succession. We want to own our resources and states should be allowed to explore their own resources while paying tax to the federal government.”