The youths of two major
ethnic groups in Rivers State, Ijaw and Ikwerre, have vowed to forge a common front in fighting against marginalization of their people by the International Oil Companies (IOCs) operating in Rivers State in particular and the Niger Delta region at large.
Leadership of the two groups, Ikwerre Youth Council and the Ijaw Youth Council made the vow in Port Harcourt Friday at the formal inauguration of the Eastern Zonal/Clan Executives of the Ijaw Youth Council.
Addressing the press after the formal inauguration; Chairman of IYC Eastern Zone, Comrade Peter Timothy Igbifaa and his Ikwerre Youth Council counterpart, Chinedu Smith, said the two groups have agreed to use one voice to stand against marginalization and exploitation by the oil companies operating in the area.
Smith accused the companies of not only exploiting the people but also instigating Ijaws and Ikwerres against one another, saying the new unity of purpose and love amongst the groups would stamp out such antics of the oil firms.
The Ikwerre youth leader noted that the two ethnic groups are bound in common destiny but that Ijaws were split into states to enable them achieve common goal and expressed regrets that enemies of the groups, including the oil majors were taking undue advantage of the separation to instigate them against one another.
In his own speech, the newly inaugurated Chairman of Ijaw Youths Council, Comrade Peter Timothy Igbifaa said the collaboration between the two youth groups would enhance actualisation of socio-political and economic gains of the state and Niger Delta region.
He commended the entire Ijaw youths and elders council for the confidence reposed in them and “The journew of today has started a new course. I affirm my promise to all who have suffered, become widow, orphans and fatherless, the zone will not let you down,” Igbifaa promised stressing that the vision of economic emancipation as pursued through Kaiama Declaration is still on.
He particularly solicited for the co-operation and continued understanding of the council with the new executive in actualizing set goals.
The IYC boss also commissioned the new zonal secretariat in Port Harcourt.