As environmental pollution continues to devastate oil and gas bearing communities in the Niger Delta region, the Ijaw Diaspora Council , IDC, weekend, resolved not to allow environmental degradation in Ijaw land to continue.
This was stated by the president, IDC, Mondy Selle Gold, during IDC’s ‘First Annual General Meeting’ held virtually, ahead of its Ijaw Diaspora Convention, which will take place in Newark, New Jersey, NY, United States of America, USA, from July 1- 3, 2022.
Prof. Gold said the Ijaw people have suffered untold hardship over the years and subjected to contamination on water, land and air, while they have been far away from the wealth around them.
According to him, the story of environmental degradation has not witnessed any significant change, but has continued to be politicized and toyed with following the predicament the people find themselves and environmental challenges awaiting generations unborn.
The IDC is one of the most diverse and prestigious group of like-minded men and women who are dedicated to the Ijaw nation’s economic freedom, unity, peace, and development.
He said: “Through high-impact initiatives in education, livelihoods, public health, and leadership development, the Ijaw Diaspora Council is devoted to catalyzing social and economic change in Ijaw nation and forging a permanent bridge between the Diaspora and our country, Nigeria.
“Ijaw people are subjected to contaminated groundwater and air pollution, especially those who by no fault of theirs, the oil and gas facilities have come to reside with them.
“Oil and gas production, as well as its catastrophic effects, have obvious economic ramifications, particularly in the agricultural and fishery industries, as well as the rapid deterioration of human health.
“These are some of the most challenging problems to overcome, and that is why members of the Ijaw Diaspora will gather to learn, communicate, and discuss.
“The economy of the Ijaw nation must grow, which requires members to pay attention to the foundations of strategic generosity and reputational liberality.”
The IDC boss however, cautioned that, “Posterity will have the final say, but this period should not be remembered for irreparable rifts, consummate cheapness, or unending conflict, rather it should be remembered with our achievements and ability to harness our differences as strength to succeed.
“Environmental restoration, educational opportunities, medical issues, cultural heritage, integration initiative, and economic development measures, all will be considered at the Ijaw Diaspora Convention, which will take place in Newark, NJ from July 1 to 3, 2022.”
He also pointed that, at the highest social levels, the organization contributes to the safety and security of the people and communities including development of the Ijaw people, which is an essential and significant responsibility they have as an organisation at that level.
However, he spoke extensively on the unity of the Ijaws in Diaspora to make meaningful impact on the lives of the impoverished Ijaw people, and charged them to work in unity and focus on the things that would change the narrative, and it does not matter how long it might take them.
“Good things aren’t easy to get by! You can work for ten years without getting anywhere, yet only one event or year will pay off. But the truth is that nice things aren’t easy to come by! It necessitates some effort, as well as patience and perseverance. Furthermore, it will take some time and will require perseverance.
“Our members, partners, and supporters are critical to our success, but we must continue to learn, grow, and build Ijaw land without causing chaos or playing power games. We won’t be able to meet our goals or fulfil the purpose of the 2022 Newark convention if we don’t work together.
“Please don’t let the effect of money and its challenges poison many a relationship or blind individual mind to the wider vision of how we must handle stubborn issues that are impeding Ijaw nation’s progress.
“I implore you to make a life-altering decision to serve our people better and foremost. Let there be more love and unity and collaboration. Let there be more strategic generosity and reputational liberality,” he added.