Ijaw youths from the nine states of the Niger Delta region have called on President Muhammadu Buhari to address the injustice in the country which has led to rising tension and insecurity. 

According to the youths under the aegis of the Ijaw Youths Council Worldwide, the current security challenges in the country and the renewed threat by some Niger Delta militants and agitators to crumble the economy is because of the perceived injustices meted out to the region. 

IYC members demonstrating

The IYC, through its national spokesperson, Comrade Ebilade Ekerefe, in a statement issued in Yenagoa, said the president must nip the threat in the bud before it becomes uncontrollable and drags the economy backward.

He said, “We, therefore, insist that with the current security challenges in the country and the renewed threat by some Niger Delta militants and agitators to crumble the economy because of the perceived injustices meted out to the region as we’ve witnessed, it’s only right for us to be treated equally in a country we are contributing so much to its economy which will douse the palpable tension.”

On the recent promotion of some senior police officers amongst which is a Bayelsa State-born Moses Ambakina Jitoboh to the rank of Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG), the youth council commended gesture accorded him, describing the promotion as well-deserved. 

The group, however, warned that the promotion of Jitoboh should not be another sinister plan to violate the Police Act, 2020 and retire him as he still has nine years to serve in the Police Force.

“We are glad that our son has now been promoted to the rank of a Deputy Inspector-General of Police, it is our most earnest hope that this promotion is not a sinister plan to retire him even as he still has nine years to serve in the Police Force,” he said.

Ekerefe warned the Police Force not to ignore the Police Act, 2020 which provides that “in line with the provision of Section 18 (8) of the Police Act, 2020 which states thus ‘every Police officer shall, on recruitment or appointment, serve in the Nigeria Police Force for 35 years or until he attains the age of 60 years, whichever is earlier.’” 

“The section under reference brings the Police Force into an era of predictability just like the Civil Service Rule as the provision is mandatory, fixed like the rock of Gibraltar and cannot be moved willy-nilly.”

He continued, “Now that DIG Moses Ambakina Jitoboh has been duly decorated in his new rank, he stands out as the most, if not, the only qualified person for the office of the IGP and we aren't pretending or begging to be given what is due to our son. We are Nigerians and must be treated as such. We will not accept a second-class citizen treatment when it comes to appointments and first-class citizens when it comes to the exploitation of our resources.

“We want to observe that under this present administration, the people of the Niger Delta have had cases of unfair treatments meted out to qualified and deserving persons from the region. Take a look at the way the former Director-General of the Department of State Services (DSS), Mr. Matthew Seiyefa, was treated and summarily retired. The region has had a huge share of imbalance and unfair treatment at the federal level of government.”

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