Pan Ijaw Socio-cultiral organization, Ijaw National Congress, (INC) on Wednesday, endorsed the Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar for president.
INC, at the end of its meeting in Yenagoa, x-rayed the manifestoes of the two leading aspirants, President Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress, APC, and Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, especially on the issues of restructuring and others relating to Niger Delta development and aligned itself with the position of the latter.
The meeting which had in attendance notable Ijaw sons and daughters including Prof. Joseph Ajierika who doubles as the Chairman of INC steering committee reviewed the State of the Nation and the credentials of two aspirants ahead of the 2019 General Elections.
The INC reaffirmed its position to support candidates who believe in restructuring the Country for the purpose of peace, harmony, equity, fairness and Justice.
It, therefore, aligned itself with the views as well espoused and reaffirmed by its son, the Governor of Bayelsa State, Hon. Henry Seriake Dickson on repeated occasions that the 2019 elections is a referendum on restructuring the Nigerian polity.
The APC, according to the organization has made very scant comments with regards to the question of restructuring throughout it’s campaign even when the party’s committee on restructuring led by the Governor of Kaduna state, Malam Nasir El Rufai submitted it’s report in September 2017 without implementation.
Additionally,the INC noted that to underscore its disregard for the Ijaws and other peoples of the Niger Delta which was recently demonstrated again when the President on Monday presided over a ceremony in Aso Presidential Villa where a $30b special development fund agreement between the FG, World Bank, African Development Bank, Afriexim bank for 3 special development zones for the proposed country’s industrial development zone was unveiled covering Lekki in the South West, Aba in the South East and Funtua in the North to the exclusion of the Niger Delta zone from where the counterpart funds needed by Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority would be derived.
Rather than taking a critical look at the issue, President Buhari stated during his recent visit to Bayelsa that the present Nigerian Constitution which gives Kano 44 LGAs and Bayelsa 8 LGAs was perfect since both States have three senators each.
The ruling party, according to INC, has continued to show great insensitivity and disregards for the feelings of the Ijaw people despite enormous contribution to the socio economic growth of the Country.
However, the candidate of the PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar had in the past and throughout his campaign restated his belief and commitment to restructuring the Country. His views and blueprint on the matter have also been sufficiently articulated.
It was on this premise that the INC adopted the candidate of the PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar as the unanimous candidate of the Ijaw ethnic nationality.
The organization, therefore, called on all Ijaw men, women, youths to turn out enmass to stand behind Alhaji Atiku Abubakar on Saturday.