Niger Delta youth release demands ahead of Osinbajo’s visit

Niger Delta youths on Sunday released a 22-point demand ahead of the visit of the Vice-President, Yemi Osinbajo to the region on Monday.

Their demands included the immediate release of activists and ex-militants arrested by the army.

The demands were in separate statements issued by the Ijaw Youth Council and the Urhobo Youth Leaders Association.

They also gave their approval to the Chief Edwin Clark-led Pan Niger Delta Forum to negotiate between the people of the region and the Federal Government.

The youths also asked the government to award pipeline security contracts to different ethnic groups in the region.

The statement by the IYC signed by Eric Omare said, “Ahead of Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo’s visit to the Niger Delta starting from Oporoza in Gbaramatu Kingdom of Delta State on Monday, January 16, 2017, the Ijaw Youth Council has called on the Federal Government to release all the Niger Delta activists and ex-agitators in detention without trial.

“The IYC believes that releasing those in illegal Federal Government’s detention would be evidence of the government’s sincerity to peacefully resolve the Niger Delta crisis. Several Niger Delta activists and ex-agitators, including Bounanawei Smith, Ezekiel Daniel, Alex Odogu, Aboy Muturu, Monday Ebimene, Churchill Oghoneye and others, are in different military detention centres without trial.”

The IYC urged President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately demilitarize the region.

The UYLA called for true fiscal federalism as well as an increase in derivation benefit to the region from 13 to 50 per cent within every period of five years.

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