By Gabriel Enogholase
BENIN—As the House of Representatives conduct public hearing on the Maritime University Bill, the Ijaw Youth Council, IYC, has appealed to the members to toe the line of the Senate on the issue, appealing to it to adopt the procedure used by the Senate.
A statement in Benin City, Edo State, yesterday by president of the body, Mr. Oweilaemi Pereotubo, said: “The survival of the Maritime University, Okerenkoko, is key to sustaining the existing peace in the Niger Delta. It is one of the cardinal conditions for peace in the region.
“IYC wishes to reiterate the fact that the Maritime University is the only federal institution in the entire coastal belt of Delta, Bayelsa and Rivers States. Now is the time for the government to prove to the coastal people that they are also part of Nigeria. There is no doubt that the Maritime University will be a peace building bridge between the people of the Niger Delta region and the Federal Government.
“Suffice to say that it will continue to be a rallying point to engender feelings of oneness in the corporate partnership. The gains Nigeria will garner from the institution cannot be overemphasized, especially as it relates to maritime business and peace and security of the oil exploitative activities in the region.”
He therefore, called on the House of Representatives “to accept all positive memoranda and speedily pass the Bill into law like what the Senate did.
“The council also uses this medium to call on the executive arm to release the N2billion initial grant for the school to take off this month. We have reliably gathered that the Federal Government has not released the money to the management of the school even after promising same by the Vice President sometime last month in Ondo State.”
Going further, IYC said that “The government must live up to its promises. IYC cannot afford to experience a delay in the take off of academic activities at the school in this month. Any undue delay may alter the flow of the peace process in the region.”