The Delta Central Young Leaders for 2023, a political pressure group of middle-aged leaders of Urhobo extraction have agreed with their Ijaw counterparts of the Ijaw Youth Council, IYC, to ensure the next governor of Delta State is produced by the youths, stressing that the era of being used by the elders for selfish purposes was over.
This was the outcome of a meeting of the leadership of the Delta Central Young Leaders 2023 and IYC at Ogbe-Ijoh, Warri South-West Local Government Area of Delta State on Saturday.
Speaking at the meeting, which was at the instance of the Delta Central group, Chairman of the group, Isaac Omomedia, noted that for over 20 years since the advent of the 4th Republic, those in leadership positions have refused to let go for younger ones.
He added that the time for the youths to take their destiny in the hands was now; to be properly position and carry on the legacies of the leaders of old.
He emphasised that many of those in power started their political journey at relatively younger age, serving as commissioners in their 30s and 40s.
However, he noted, 20 years after, they have refused to let go, perpetuating themselves in power without allowing others to taste power.
He charged Ijaw youth leaders to join hands with Urhobo youth leaders to identify a young, vibrant personality to be governor in 2023, so that the younger generation of leaders could be brought in to serve the people.
In his contribution, Director General of the Delta Central Young Leaders for 2023, Olorogun Vincent Oyibode, pleaded with the Ijaw people to allow Urhobo to produce the next governor of Delta State.
He emphasized that since the rotational arrangement has gone full circle from Delta Central, South and now Delta North, Delta Central should begin the fresh circle again so that all could taste of the seat of governor of Delta State.
He said: “Some of us have been youths since 1999 and should not be treated as youths any longer. The situation is that many of us are still being treated as youths because there is nowhere to graduate to.
“The youths should stand firm to produce the next governor. Our age mate should be the next governor of Delta State and that is why we are here to appeal to our Ijaw counterparts to stand for a younger personality to be governor in 2023.
“We have no space up there, hence we keep referring to ourselves as youths. The older leaders should give us chance to be in power and as you well know, power is not given, we have to fight for it.”
Olorogun Oyibode, who is Commissioner on the board of DESOPADEC, appealed to the Ijaw nation to respect the senatorial arrangement so Urhobo could be governor again in 2023 before moving to Delta South.
Responding on behalf of the Ijaw youth leaders, former National President of the IYC, Eric Omare commended the Urhobo youth leaders for the initiative of connecting with youths from other ethnic nationalities to ensure they have a say on who the next governor must be.
He stressed that the youths have stayed for too long in the corridors of power and that the time to move into the mainstream of action was now.
“Urhobo and Ijaw have been traditional political allies over the years and that friendship must continue into 2023 and beyond.
“This movement must extend beyond Urhobo and Ijaw but into all parts of Delta state so it could be a statewide movement for the youths to take their place in government instead of playing second fiddle.
“How can one man be commissioner for 12 years, while others are in the sideline watching?
“We agree with our Urhobo counterparts for the youths to take their place in the coming elections,” Omare said.
National Secretary of IYC, Frank Pukor, in his remarks, thanked the Urhobo leaders for their stand on 2023, promising to take their message to youths for them to agree and take a stand on the message of who the next governor of Delta State should be.
The meeting was well attended by youths from all Ijaw clans and Urhobo kingdoms, including Chief Francis Arhiyor, Chief Tony Ofoni, among others.