A gathering of over 60 young leaders in the Niger Delta has vowed to stop the next general elections from holding in the region unless the country is restructured in a way that guarantees full control of the resources.
The Niger Delta young leaders' threat was contained in a statement issued at the end of a stakeholders roundtable, which held in Port Harcourt on Saturday.
Present at the meeting convened by former governorship aspirant, Mr. Moses Siasia, were legislators, serving and former commissioners, other government appointees and private sector players from states across the region.
The young leaders, who described the country's current political and economic structure as faulty, unanimously demanded a hundred percent resource ownership, control, and management as well as the restructuring of the country before the 2019 general elections. Should their demands go unmet, they warned, there will be no elections across the region and no oil exploration.
They maintained that they are determined to subsume ethnic interests under the general interests of the Niger Delta and work as one to achieve equity and justice.
"We must go back to the roundtable and discuss the principles of equity and justice and this must take effect from the highest seat of power to the communities, which will birth true federalism in a new people’s constitution. As a people united for our future, we must act now," the statement said.
They reiterated that the challenges facing the people of the Niger Delta and their environment require both collective and personal sacrifices to tackle. The leaders also announced that they would carry out proper sensitization programs and in engage with critical stakeholders on their desire to move the country forward on the basis of fairness, justice, and equity.
The meeting condemned the prevalence of hate speech in the country, warning users of such to desist from making provocative utterances.