Agitators Take PVCs Campaign To N’Delta Creeks


A coalition of youths under the auspices of the 21st Century Youths of Niger Delta and Agitators with Conscience and 19 other agitating groups in Niger Delta have taken their massive sensitisation campaign tagged, “Operation Permanent Voter’s Cards (PVCs), Not Guns Must Count’ in the February 16 elections to riverine communities across Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta and Rivers states in the region.
The two-week campaign, which saw the agitators hold town hall meetings with opinion leaders, community leaders and critical stakeholders in the creeks was rounded off, yesterday, at Ekeni/Ezetu communities in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area, Bayelsa State, where amnesty was first accepted in 2006 by a foremost ex-militant leader, Ebikobowei Victor Ben, aka Boyloaf.
Leader of the 21st Century Youths of Niger Delta, self-styled “General” Izon Ebi, who led the sensitisation campaign, said in an interview, “Niger Delta youths refuse to be branded corrupt, lazy, criminals and militants. That is why we have all agreed to work closely with the international community, foreign observers, security agencies, INEC staff and community leaders to ensure that it is our PVCs, not guns that must count in the forthcoming elections.”
Ebi said some politicians were threatening bloodshed, if the elections did not go their way, adding, “Such action is capable of creating acrimony and supremacy tussle in the Niger Delta.
“We, therefore, want to echo our voices loud and clear to the North, East, West, Middle Belt and the Niger Delta that the time is now to take back our future with our PVCs, not guns, our PVCs must count.”
He emphasised, “In our two-week tour of riverine communities in the Niger Delta on a massive sensitisation campaign and town hall meetings with community leaders on why our PVCs must count, not guns, we have all come to realise in our interactions that the Niger Delta belongs to all of us.
“We all feel the brunt of the polluted air, degraded farmlands, polluted waters, unemployment, insecurity and the most recent threat to our liberty as a people. We have heard in the past that the youths are the future of tomorrow, and we all agree that the time is now or never.
“In this final historic gathering today, we have all agreed that the future of the Niger Delta is paramount. Our rights to liberty, choice and freedom are sacrosanct.
“We cannot imagine how our youths that are economically impoverished and branded lazy can develop a technology to refine our crude oil into diesel, petrol, kerosene, and politicians indulge in fraudulent importation of refined products and criminally enriching their cronies with what they call subsidy.
“Besides, they fail to develop the Niger Delta youths in their creative thinking of developing a technology to refine our crude oil and in all these, the government is adamant, full of fake promises, politicking with the ideology of mental slavery,” he noted.
Ebi explained, “Niger Delta has been grossly marginalised as a people, deprived by the evil in resource control and its communities. This evil has now outlived its time and we, as youths in the region, are determined to end the reign in Nigeria via the process of electing a credible human faced leader.”