By Cletus Opukeme, Warri
Presidential aspirant and governor of Kogi state, Governor Yahaya Bello has pledged t tackle infrastructural underdevelopment in Niger Delta region if he becomes president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Bello said that the recurrent agitation of armed insurrection in Niger Delta region and insecurity in parts of Nigeria will be a thing of the past, if Nigerians give him the mandate to become the first youngest President.
According to him, the numerous agitations from different parts in the country were as a result of injustice and unfair play by past successive administrations
His Excellency, Alhaji Yaya Bello, Governor of Kogi State who was represented by the deputy speaker Kogi state House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Ahmed Mohammed during a consultative visit to Niger Delta Youth Leaders in Warri , Delta State ahead of his 2023 presidential bid at the weekend. .
Bello noted that he understands the peculiar problems of underdevelopment as the bane of all agitation in Niger Delta region..Stating that he as a man from minority political region in Kogi state felt better the plight of the people of Niger Delta region. He described the Niger Delta region as the economic power of Nigerian and promised that he would tackle underdevelopment in Niger Delta, thereby end the perenial recurrent armed agitation by the youths in the region.
He said he has learnt the rudiment of governance as two tenure governor in Kogi state which he boasted he has taken Kogi to a greater height in terms of infrastructural development across all the three senatorial districts, irrespective of tribe and religion.
He said he would run his administration on fairness, justice and equity devoid of religious and ”godfatherism” influence as the youths and women would take greater percentage in his administration appointments.
￼ RT. Hon. Ahmed Mohammed, deputy Speaker Kogi state house of Assembly, Amb.Yerinmene Salako National Coordinator IIJ as Charles Taylor and Amb. Alapala Ebitonbo
Responding, Amb. Yerinmene Salaco Snr, national coordinator of the Ijaw Interest Advocates (IIA), otherwise known as Izanzan Intellectual Camp on behalf of Ijaw youths in Niger Delta in a three page address. He stated that the group’s interest is to see to how they can contribute towards the growth and development of Ijaw communities across the country. ￼
In his words: “On behalf of the hundreds of youths cut accross Ijaw Nation in the oil rich Niger Delta region that are leutenants (members) of the IzanzanCamp, I welcome you to the annex of the IzanzanCamp conference arena. ￼“First, we want to thank God almighty for the journey mercy from the middle belt part of the Nigeria thus we as well seek for journey mercy back to your respective home after a fruitful interactive session. ￼“Indisputably, today is an historic moment in the IzanzanCamp, owing to the fact that this will be the first time that we have been consulted and having an interactive session with presidential candidate despite the fact that he is being represented by the highly proactive working Deputy speaker of the Kogi State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Ahmed Mohammed. We are indeed honored and grateful for your recognition. ￼“For the purpose of clarification, I want to briefly highlight the philosophical orientations and objectives of the IzanzanCamp before I go straight to make mention of some of reasons why this interactive session is very pertinent at this point in time..
”Going further, the formation of the IzanzanCamp is a conglomeration of youths from various Ijaw communities bound by selfless love and desire to promote justice and to advocate for sustainable development in the riverine communitues. We are Advocates of sustainable development with our intellectual resources and weapons and ready to support any Political projects that will be advantageous to our region”” He asserted.
It is also worthy to note that as a result of the dying state of the Ijaw towns and villages following the intentional negligence by the government of the day; from the local government to the federal government respectively which has prompted some of our kinsmen to took arm against the unholy system for our collective interest some years back but we members of the IzanzanCamp considered the “BOOKS FOR GUNS, PENS FOR BULLETS” therefore we resolved to apply an Intellctual strategies to fight against every forms of oppression and injustice with our Intellctual resources. In the cause of our Intellctual battles to have justice develeopmentally, environmentally and otherwise we have been confronted vigorously by subjects that against injustice but yet we are not relinquishing. We have fought a lot of battles without compromising and it will shock you to know that the IzanzanCamp is the head of the revelation of the massive fraudulent activities in the Niger Delta Development Commision (NDDC). Let me just stop here.￼“However, having been briefed above about the formation of the IzanzanCamp, we want to assure you that we will have a fruthful interactive session. Well, we are aware that, we all gathered here to discuss the factors of the presidential ambition of the youngest governor of the federal republic of Nigeria come 2023 but then while we anticipate to hear the good messages of the youthful governor of Kogi State, I want to highlight some of the fears of the IzanzanCamp;￼“1. Unemployment Rate: The rate of unemployment is proliferating day by day and its emanating insecurity in our areas despite our natural resources been exploited by IOC’s in collaboration with the federal government. ￼“2. Underdevelopment: Despites our oil being exploited, the region is kept unattended to Developmental wise over decades of exploration of the crude oil at the backyards of our grand parents. ￼“3. Deprivation of Education: Even as lovers of education, the Ijaw Nation has been deprived with quality education for unjustifiable reasons by successive governments. As we speak there is no bill backing the only federal Maritime University in the whole of the oil reach Ijaw Nation. It is indeed a monumental educational injustice.
“4. Environmental Degradation and many others.
“The above, is few among many fears that has prompted IzanzanCamp to take the bull by the horn despite who is involved and having highlighted the fears as the deprivation of the Niger Delta region is a long historic narrative but however we want to authoritatively state that we are very ready to give our maximum support to Governor Ahlaji Yahaya Bellow of Okogi State as president of the federal republic of Nigeria if only he will be sincere enough to allay our fears and to deliver a very fair and just democratic leadership as we will not forget the fact that he is a youth and his doggedness in leadership is another factor that we as young Intellectual minds has already put into consideration.
“As I end this address, I wish to assure his Excellency Ahlaji Yahaya Bello, that after this session, the resolution of the IzanzanCamp will be made known to the public through both indigenous and National Newspapers and it will be collectively favourable to us all as together we can make Nigeria great again as the giant of Africa. ” Salaco stated.
Meanwhile, the Deputy speaker had told the Izanzan Intellectual Camp and Niger Delta youth leaders that from the developmental blueprints of Governor Yaya Bello in Kogi State, he is the kind of President that Nigerians needs at this critical time of the nation’s history.
While urging the Niger Delta youths to support the Bello Presidential bid come 2023, Hon. Ahmed said Governor Bello has the political, economic and democratic credentials to pilot Nigeria to the promised land.
In his words: “By his grace, Bello will become the president of Nigeria come 2023, we believe that he will take Nigeria to the promised land. In Kogi State, he has done well in Security, Youths empowerment, agriculture, health and what have you.
“In the three senatorial districts, he has shown capacity in road infrastructure, in health, he has built general hospitals, he has been able to build a Science and Technology Confluence University, admission is ongoing. Kogi State is bordered with Nine states, we have been able to curb insecurity.
“He is a unifier, we have several tribes, Bello has been able to unite everyone. On gender equality, 21 LGA vice Chairpersons are all women in Kogi State, ,councillors are also women, his commissioners and all lga chairmen are all youths.
“We are very comfortable and have the confidence that if given a higher opportunity, he will perform well. I am using this opportunity to call on the Ijaw Youths to give him your supports as a youth. He is a man that believes in one Nigeria, he is eager to fix this country. He is corruption free, he never believes in godfatherism, is high time we come together as youths to project a common course. He is very eager to always see what can be done for the Niger Delta region. He is more closer to you than anyone, we will continue to consult your elders and other stakeholders in the Niger Delta region.
“In our generation, a new Nigeria is possible. Let the youths take up this battle. We should brainstorm to put ourselves in the political equation of 2023. He has been able to demonstrate pure leadership. He will always stand up for what is right. Bello has been able to wade into a lot of national issues. He has been delivering Kogi State and God has sent him to deliver Nigerians come 2023 as president of the country “.
Others who also spoke during the meeting include Amb. Comr. Binebai Princewill Binebai, President general Delta Ijaw Comrade Community (DICC), Comr. Ebolo Samuel, Chairmen of all Chairmen, Ijaw Youth Council (IYC), Western Zone and Comr. Napoleon Kenerekedi, a chieftain of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in Delta State.
In their separate remarks, they all spoke passionately for the development of Ijaw Communities in Delta State and beyond, stressing that the Ijaw people have suffered for too long, adding that should Bello becomes the President come 2023, he should not forget the meeting and prioritise the development of Ijaw communities with road networks connecting the Ijaw towns and villages.