Restiveness in N-Delta is Expression of Frustration, Says Ijewere
2 Aug 2006
Author: Bolade Omonijo
LEADER of Professionals in the South-South, Mr. Emmanuel Ijewere, has described the spate of violence in the oil-rich Niger Delta as an expression of frustration and a cry for help by the youth.
Ijewere who led the group on a visit to Vanguard on Monday said: "while we professionals of the South-South reject violence as a way out for correcting these wrongs, we must not lose sight of the fact that youth restiveness is an expression of frustration and cry for help and attention. We also wish to say that state violence is not acceptable."
The Professionals of the South-South were quick to endorse the widely publicised resolutions of last week's confab held by leaders of the region in Uromi, the country home of Chief Tony Anenih, a PDP chieftain.
Chief Ijewere also urged the Federal Government to pay attention to the Calabar Declaration of the South-South Peoples Assembly.
The group said: "We believe in dialoguing with all the zones of the federation with the intention of making them see the passion with which our people reject any further injustice."
Rejecting the suggestion that the presidential race be thrown open to contestants all over the country to enable the best emerge, Ijewere who was accompanied by three other leaders of the group contended that "Nigeria has many bests and very many of those bests are from the South South."
Ijewere announced that a committee had been put together to draft a blueprint for the zone. He expressed optimism that all the governorship candidates on the platforms of all the political parties would buy into the agenda that could ensure zonal transformation.
Reminded that about 42 per cent of the states' allocations between 1999 and 2003 had gone to the region with little to show for the disbursement, the professionals from the South South admitted profligacy on the part of their leaders, but added that, "it is ridiculous that some people will produce and the money will be spent elsewhere and when you complain, they donate buses and boats to us."
Vowing to make a difference in the run up to 2007, the Ijewere group said: "We are here to present to you our agenda for righting the wrongs of the past.
"This agenda goes beyond our quest for a South Southerner to be sworn in as president of our country come 2007.
"It includes our engagements to ensure good governance at all our 116 local governments, six state governorships and assemblies. We shall, through positive interaction, ensure that our senators and Federal House of Representatives put our interest in their front burners at all times.