…insist on fiscal federalism
By Jimitota Onoyume
WARRI—IJAW Youth Council, IYC, has marked the 20th anniversary of Kiama Declaration, insisting on fiscal federalism as a panacea to the myriad of challenges plaguing the country.
Unveiling the anniversary banner of the declaration in Warri, Delta State, President of IYC, Mr Oweilaemi Pereotubo, said the Federal Government has been very unfair to the Niger Delta region with the alleged neglect of the area.
He said 20 years after the Kiama Declaration, the government was yet to implement key demands of the declaration which, among others, include fiscal federalism.
According to him: “The Federal Government, not just the incumbent, has not done enough and has not been fair to the Ijaw people, bearing in mind the fact that it is the Ijaw territory, the Niger Delta, that has been sustaining this country. Nigeria is still together because the Ijaw people are not talking about secession. We are not talking about getting a different country yet. It is because we still believe in the corporate existence of Nigeria that Nigeria is still together.
“The Federal Government has not done well for either the IYC, the Ijaw people or the Niger Delta as a region and that is why we are still where we are today. We are talking of the Kaiama Declaration, which is 20 years today. Some demands were made in that pamphlet, I can’t say I know any of those demands that has been met till date. You will just realise after opening that pamphlet that nothing has really happened till now.
“It is sad to remember that the resources being used for the the sustenance of this country is coming from our backyard and yet we are not partakers, we have been completely excluded from the process. People have oil blocks, marginal fields and Ijaw men and women are out of the equation. You send the military to guard facilities in the Niger Delta, but nothing for the people. This is injustice and this is oppression.”