By Gabriel Enogholase
BENIN—IJAW Youth Council, IYC, has condemned plans by the Nigeria Military High Command to extend its ongoing military exercise in the South-East to the South-South and South-West geopolitical regions, saying what the Niger Delta region need most is development and not military exercise.
A statement in Benin, Edo State, by Mr. Roland Pereotubo, President of the Ijaw youth body, yesterday, said: “Let the Federal Government send bulldozers to the creeks to carry out developmental projects.
“The money the military want to waste on this fruitless exercise should be channeled to developmental projects in the region.
“Niger Delta people will resist any attempt to cause crisis in the region. We don’t need military exercise. What we want is development. No previous military exercise has ever yielded any good result apart from causing mayhem to our people.
“We do not expect any good thing to come out of this planned exercise. It will only end up causing untold hardship on the lives and property in the region.
“Federal Government will be inflicting a devastating havoc on the nation’s crawling economy should it allow the military to carry out its exercise in the region.”
He stated that Operation Python Dance in the South-East had yielded no gains, as it has continued to receive condemnations from Nigerians and the international community, insisting that the planned Operation Crocodile Tears will be seen as a belligerent act against the peace-loving people of the region.
The group restated its position that no amount of military exercise will make the people surrender their agitations, adding that the solution to the agitations in Southern Nigeria was restructuring, true federalism and self-determination in line with international best practices.