Our Honorable President of The Ijaw National Congress
Our Royal Majesties
Our Lord Bishops
Former Governors & Deputy Governors
Key Public & Political Officers Holders
All Concerned Ijaw Men & Women
Friends of Ijaw Nation
This statement is released in response to the unfortunate, current underlining, and tumultuous events within the Great Ijaw Nation and the People of the Southern Regions of Nigeria. It has come to our notice as a Nation that the following issues that undermine our progress as a people can no longer be left unsaid and undealt with.
1. We the Ijaw Diaspora Council thank our able governing representatives for their astute handling of the crisis within the nation from unsolicited activities of Herdsmen and the so-called “Unknown Gunmen” who have invaded our territories causing havoc to the daily lives and pursuits of our people. The insecurity in our communities must be stopped before it is too late.
The increased access to arms and automatic weapons by unauthorized Herdsmen must be addressed without delay. The atrocities perpetrated by the herdsmen and unknown gunmen must stop. We wish to ask for a continued guidance towards a peaceful resolve to these unsolicited attacks in our communities in such a manner as to minimize civilian casualties. The ethnic incompatibility is a major concern and can no longer be ignored. We demand a collaborative approach to choosing a strategic plan of action for eradicating ethnic incompatibility, movement of herdsmen, and actualizing our desire for self-determination.
2. Bearing in mind that the rate at which these institutionalized criminals commit crimes has increased exponentially, it is appropriate to ask several mind-boggling questions. For instance, why do our Ijaw communities appear within the listed regions of the Oduduwa, Biafra, Nigerian Indigenous Nationalities Alliance for Self-Determination, or Midwest Peoples Movement regional Separatist’s agendas without a formal response? These separatist movements after releasing their communiques to the world proceeded to list out the regions of Nigeria seemingly within their territorial boundaries. These lists captured within their communiques boldly showed Ijaw Communities as part of their own proposed nations.
Whether we should be a part of any regional Separatist’s agenda or remain in Nigeria is our prerogative, but time is of the essence. Meanwhile, we ask for an IMMEDIATE retraction of the joining of Ijaw Nation within these lists or maps created unilaterally by Oduduwa, Biafra, Nigerian Indigenous Nationalities Alliance for Self-Determination, or Midwest Peoples Movement. We have the ability to present a factual geographical layout of our Great Ijaw nation. IT IS VITAL TO SEND A MESSAGE OF STRENGTH AND
IDENTITY TO OUR YOUTHS AND ELDERS ABOUT WHO THEY ARE AND WHERE THEY STAND AT THIS TIME in history. This should be done immediately, and we will definitely do so in order to dispel further intended or unintended confusion for our people and the international community. We are our own Nation of people and we answer to no other.
3. Based on the preceding facts, the IDC would like to call for an immediate collaboration of stakeholders of the Ijaw nation at home and abroad to work out a strategy towards a unified agenda on the matters bedeviling our Great nation and the country as a whole. A people perceived as divided will always encourage self-sabotaging behaviors by disgruntled people and at the same time attract self-serving outsiders standing in the wings to cause disaffection and confusion. Let us do what is right by our people so that history may judge us kindly.
To this end The IDC requires the following:
a) Create a name for the proposed Ijaw country if necessary and a special committee to discuss and present the modalities for restructuring or self-determination.
b) An inclusive and unfettered working relationship with appointed and elected leadership within the Ijaw Nation and Ijaw Diaspora.
c) A point-by-point action plan of achievable goals that the IDC can follow up on with the western governments and key world players towards a greatly needed alliance. Goals that will enable us to achieve our demands for restructuring or self-determination in a coherent way.
d) A comprehensive Map of Ijaw land and a detailed list of our representing Cities, Towns and Villages.
e) A strong and decisive Press Statement and YouTube friendly video to the world regarding our continued and unabated demand for our 100% Revenue Control and income to come to the Ijaw Nation. This is because this goose that lays the golden egg has been left pauperized in all ramifications by the Nigerian state from independence to the present. The federal government of Nigeria has been unapologetically unjust to the Ijaw nation and we must now stand up for ourselves with courage and unapologetically. Let the spirit of Boro and his comrades guide us to do things in a more strategic way.
4. We wish to use this medium to tell the federal government of Nigeria to grant the very reasonable request of our Ijaw Youth Council leadership, WITHOUT DELAY. A demand that the NDDC be properly run is by all accounts, a patriotic call.
Ebiowei J Banigo
+1 (862) 215-0060