By Cletus Opukeme, Warri
Ijaw yourhs Council (IYC) Western zone headed by Comrade Dr. Doubra Collins has appreciated God and leaders support within one year smooth running so far.
IYC Western zone leadership signed by its chairman Dr. Doubra Colllins and information officer, Comrade Izoukumor Lugard, said, ” One year ago today, Ijaw youths in Western Zone (Delta, Edo and Ondo States) choose peace, ideas and unity as the pathway to a new kind of activism by electing us because our victory in 2021 was inevitable. It was the culmination of decades of Ijaw struggle, at the very square of Igbekibo community in Ondo State.
”Hence, the leadership of IYC Western Zone led by Comr. Dr Doubra Collins Okotete would like to thank our creator God Almighty for His grace, infinite mercies and the wisdom bestowed on us— for the privilege in piloting the affairs of the Zone for the past one year. Worthy of appreciation is the 8th National Leadership IYC led by Comr. Dcn. Peter Igbifa and most importantly the three (3) national officers representing Western Zone Hon. Frank Pukon – National Secretary, Barr. Obiri Ebilade- National Legal Adviser and Comr. Tina Tobusi- National Woman Leader and all other leaders in Western Zone, Parliamentarians from the Zone led by Rt. Hon. Bob Collins Igetei- amiable Speaker of the 5th Mobile Parliament of IYC Worldwide and elders of the Zone” They said.
Continung “”Also, worthy of appreciation is the entire leadership of the Zone both past and present, the Clan Chairmen Forum led by Comr. Sam Ebolo, the 24 Clan leadership, the Ogbos and the entire members of Council from Western Zone.
“”Our approbation also go to the leadership of the Ijaw National Congress (INC) led by our erudite father, leader and mentor, Professor Benjamin Okaba, the Western Zone INC Leadership, as well as Ijaw political leaders, businesses men and women with positive mindsets and our very supportive Ijaw Local Government Council Chairmen, traditional rulers across the Zone, the Delta Ijaw Comrade- Community (DICC), youth leaders across the various kingdoms in our Zone, Community leaders, the security agencies and our very courageous sons and daughters across the length and breath of our dear Zone.
“Due to the hitherto challenges before Council, on assumption of duty, we rose up and move quickly to deliver results by discussing the issues to reawaken an agenda whereby consulting and interfacing widely with critical stakeholders and leaders alike across the length and breath of our dear Zone for a new rebirth. We swung into action, and history was made with positive results.
Below are some of the achievements recorded within this one year in office;
i. First, we were able to preach peace, re-unite Council members that were agrieved as a result of the factional crisis that rocked Council most especially here in Western Zone being the bedrock of the crisis. And readers will agree with us that Council in Western Zone is much more united than ever before.
ii. For the first time in the history of IYC Western Zone, we were also able to organize a Peace, Unity and Sustainable Development (PUSD) summit, with a theme, “THE IJAW NATION AND THE WAY FORWARD: THE ROLE OF THE YOUTH,” to address the barriers of conflicts and give a framework to the trajectory of governance. In addition, the summit was also aimed at facilitating harmonious relationship between stakeholders, Ijaw political leaders and Ijaw youths to chart a collective path to sustainable development where investors can have the confidence to invest in our areas. Also, in the course of the above summit, we were able to award very respected founding fathers and signatories to the famous Kaiama Declaration (1998) and few leaders from Western Zone for their selfless services to Ijaw nation as a sign of appreciation for all their sacrifices in the course of the struggle.
iii. The historic Boro Day celebration on the 16th of May, 2022, we honored our hero Major Jasper Isaac Adaka Boro, who handed a philosophy, and an ideology for the entire Ijaw nation and the Niger Delta. This celebration marks as a yearly ritual to introspect the socioeconomic, sociopolitical and to reappraise our sociocultural renaissance to our identity, as Ijaw people who can never be conquered, given that Isaac Boro paid a lot of price fighting for the liberation of the Niger Delta region. Furthermore, the Boro Day celebration which was the first of its kind in Western Zone also underpin Ijaw people peaceful resolve to match, as an aborigine in the oil-rich city of Warri because we believe the era of armed struggle has faded away and as society is changing it is better as Ijaw youths we place more premium to peace, to strategically achieve our goals for the spirit of the struggle of resource control, which Isaac Boro believed in. It is therefore a reminder for us to keep the struggle alive. That; indeed, ‘the messenger can be killed, but the message cannot be killed.’
iv. Our resourceful Women Leader; Comrade Jennifer Oki also showed capacity and strength with her twin programme, “Engaging Ijaw Women Positively in Politics” and “The Empowered Girl Child,” which is to deepen the range of socio-political movements and ideologies that aim to define and establish the political, economic, personal, and social equality of the sexes with emphasis to a culture of reading and distribution of sanitary pads that was distributed to school kids from Ijaw ethnic nationality.
v. Worthy to mention is that, in the history of IYC Worldwide, this administration within this one year in office was able to secure for IYC Western Zone construction of a 1,000 capacity ultra-modern IYC SECRETARIAT structure at Bomadi the headquarters of IYC Western Zone from the Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission with the BOQ ready awaiting execution any minute from now…all thanks and credit to Amb. Dr Shedrack Agediga for his goodwill as the Executive Director Planning Research & Statistics in the board of DESOPADEC.
vi. Another positive news is that we were able to secure for Western Zone a brand new 18- sitter BUS from H.E Sen. Dr Ifeanyi A. Okowa- Executive Governor of Delta State, which has been approved awaiting delivery to us any time soon.
vii. Of course, educational scholarships via the Presidential Amnesty Programme ranging from first degree to masters degree programmes are still counting. Our appreciation to the Col. Milland Dikio (Rtd), Interim Administrator of the Presidential Amnesty not forgetting Comr. Alfred Kemepado- Head of Re-integration at the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP).
vii. And we have been fully involved in the defence of our people from both external and internal aggressors and also worthy to mention is our relentless efforts in settling internal dispute in some of our clan structures of Council.
All these and many more we were able to achieve in this one year in office. However, the biggest achievement for us is the unflinching support from Ijaw youths, our leaders in our parent body the INC, our traditional rulers across the Zone, business men and women, political and religious leaders across the Zone, and the entire Ijaw nation cannot be overemphasized hence, our profound appreciation as we continue to seek for more of your unwavering support in all ramification for the overall good of our youths and society at large.
Today, the responsibility to move Ijaw nation forward falls on all of us sons and daughters of Ijaw nation. And on this anniversary, nothing is more important than the constructive feedbacks we hope to get and hear from you to engage and better our approach as a team in partnership with the Ijaw nation to make news, in achieving results, not making headlines and voices. But as Ijaw people we must choose love; we must choose tolerance, oneness of purpose and unity. And together, we must make a change. Let us all sink in the words of Helen Keller, “Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.” The statement added.