By Shina Badmus
Niger Delta Progressive Youths Leadership Foundation (NDPYLF), a non-governmental youth organization in the Niger Delta, has advocated for one united Niger Delta, where ethnicity and tribal sentiments will not be used as criteria to support one another.
Speaking during the inauguration of the Bayelsa state executive of the body at Ayalla Hotel, Yenagoa on Monday, Founding National President of the foundation, Chief (Diplomat) Adams Ogomugo Marbo, reiterated that the Niger Delta struggle for resource control has gone through processes of constant ideological evolution, saying that it was time for the youths in the region to move away from the philosophy of violence to that of non-violence to create the needed enabling peaceful atmosphere for meaningful development.
He enjoined the youths of the region to embrace peace and tow the path of non-violence, noting that the time of violent agitations were over with the signing of the amnesty deal between the ex-militants and the Federal Government under the administration of President Umaru Yar’Adua and the then Vice President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, who offered an unconditional pardon to the militants with the promise of developing the region.
Chief Ogomugo, therefore enjoined youths in the region to use ideological warfare as strategic influence to push forward their demands, just as he called on them to forge a common youth developmental agenda in pursuit of their rights under a peaceful atmosphere.
He maintained that the youths in the region can draw so much strength from their unity of purpose, saying that when there is teamwork and sincere collaboration among the youths, wonderful things can be achieved.
“The importance of unity can be seen in every walk of life. The Indian freedom struggle was a great example of “unity is strength”. Niger Delta youths should develop their skills to be relevant in the scheme of things.
He advised them not to allow themselves to be influenced by partisan politics, adding that, “We can resolve our differences and work together”.
“We want to see the region as United States of Niger Delta. We should make other regions to know that we are not divided anymore. What we want is development.
“Niger Delta Minister, Senator Godswill Akpabio is ready to work with us. I commend the ongoing forensic audit of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC),” Chief Ogomugo said.
He advised the newly inaugurated state executive body to be transparent in handling the affairs of the organization, noting that “there are so many job opportunities for youths in the region”.
According the national president, “We don’t have any enemy to fight, except those that are against the meaningful development of the region”, saying that, “You have right to complain, at the same time, you have right correct the system.”
“It will be recalled that an amnesty deal initiated by the Nigerian government for militants in the Niger Delta, aimed at reducing unrest in the oil-rich region came into effect in 2009.”
Analysts say that while the amnesty offer is a positive move, the government has not yet shown a willingness to tackle the underlying problems in the region.
In his acceptance speech, Bayelsa state chairman, Ariaga Godknows Dennis, thanked the national leadership of the body for finding him worthy to serve in the capacity of state chairman and promised to run an open door policy.
Members of the newly inaugurated executive include, Akasah Eniyekeye Kelvin, Secretary, Imor Ibuindapu, Treasurer, Alagha Opuebi Emmanuel, Financial Secretary, Obele Kenezibe, P.R. O, Baraboghoye Benson, Assistant Secretary, Ogido Endurance, Woman Leader, Austine Oluzulu, Mobilization Officer, Orus Mitchell, Student Representative.
High point of the event was the handing over of the organization’s constitution to the Bayelsa state executive