By Emma Amaize
WARRI—THE Ijaw Youth Council, IYC, yesterday, called on the Federal Government to urgently direct the immediate take-off of academic activities at the Nigerian Maritime University, NMU, Okerenkoko, Warri South-West Local Government Area, Delta State, to maintain the fragile peace in the Niger Delta region.
Factional president of IYC, Mr. Eric Omare, in a statement, said: “IYC worldwide calls on the Federal Government to act fast in directing the immediate take-off of academic activities in the interest of sustaining the fragile peace in the Niger Delta region.
“IYC, as a critical stakeholder and contributor to the relative peace existing in the region, therefore, calls on the Federal Government to, as a matter of urgency, direct the already existing Governing Council of the Nigerian Maritime University to take steps to commence academic activities with immediate effect in the interest of peace and security of the Niger Delta region
“The fact that the law seeking to set up the university has not been passed by the National Assembly is not an excuse as there are several universities existing in Nigeria without enabling laws.
“It will be recalled that during the visit of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, to Oporoza, Delta State, he promised that the Maritime University, Okerenkoko was a done deal. It was the expectation of the Ijaw and Niger Delta people, that with this promise, academic activities would start in the 2017/2018 academic session.
“However, since then, there has been no effort towards academic activities kicking-off in the next academic session. On the contrary, there have been insinuations of powerful forces within the President Muhammadu Buhari administration working to stall the take-off of academic activities and relocation of the Dockyard at Okerenkoko, which is meant to serve practical purposes for the university to another community far away from Okerenkoko.
“This insinuation has generated apprehension in the minds of our people, thereby eroding the confidence building process embarked upon by Vice President Osinbanjo,” he said.