By Emma Amaize
WARRI- THE Ijaw Youth Council, IYC, Monday, condemned the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger-Delta, MEND, for attacking the leadership of the Pan Niger Delta Forum, PANDEF.
Factional president of the council, Mr. Eric Omare, in a statement, said: “MEND is only playing the script of its pay master whose sole intention is to ensure that the Niger Delta people do not speak with one voice hence the attack on the PANDEF leadership.”
He emphasized: “MEND through its pseudo spokesman, Jomo Gbomo, berated Niger Delta leaders, especially Chief E. K. Clark for staying mute during the Jonathan’s presidency and went further to state that the Nigerian Maritime University, Okerenkoko was not necessary and that the insistence on its take-off is a ploy to cover up established financial crime while identifying with a faction of the IYC.”
Omare stated: “The statement by MEND that the Maritime University, Okerenkoko was not a priority to the Niger Delta people is the height of treachery on the part of MEND and their sponsors in the Niger Delta. It is now very obvious that MEND is now a tool been used by enemies within and outside the Niger Delta to undermine the legitimate aspiration of the people. MEND is only been used by those who do not want the maritime university, Okerenkoko to see the light of the day.”
He added: “The relevance of the Maritime University, Okerenkoko to the educational and manpower development of Nigerians in the maritime industry, which has the capacity to surpass the oil and gas industry is well documented. The mere fact that there exists a maritime academy at Oron, Akwa Ibom state, does not mean that the Maritime University, Okerenkoko is not relevant.”
“There exist several federal and state universities together with polytechnics in Nigeria, hence the maritime university, Okerenkoko can also exist side by side with the Maritime academy, Oron.
“We wish to state clearly that MEND and their moles in the IYC, who they are collaborating with to oppose the Niger Delta struggle lacks the mandate to speak for the Niger Delta people. In the fullest of time, MEND’s moles in the IYC will be flushed out for the Ijaw youths to have a united front to confront their common enemies now paying MEND and their moles in the IYC to create division in Ijaw nation and the Niger Delta region,” the factional president said.