Following last weekend’s election of the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC), at Oporoza, Gbaramatu kingdom, Delta State, the Bayelsa State Governor, Sen. Douye Diri, insisted that its administration cannot afford to have an acrimonious council.
This according to him was responsible for him being neutral during the election. He insisted that rather than interfere, his administration was more concerned about de-politicising the umbrella bodies that represent the Ijaw nation, particularly the IYC and the Ijaw National Congress (INC).
Governor Diri disclosed this on Tuesday at the Government House in Yenagoa when former INC and IYC leaders visited him to introduce the newly elected IYC national president, Peter Igbifa.
The governor emphasised that having played key roles in the history and progress of the INC, he was not ready to midwife a repeat of what had divided the Ijaw people in the past.
He said soon his government would convene an all-Ijaw leadership summit.
Diri said, “What this administration is doing is to depoliticise the Ijaw Youth Council and the Ijaw National Congress. That is the only way we can move forward in the environment that we find ourselves in the current Nigerian state.
“We cannot afford to have an acrimonious IYC. We cannot afford to continue to have a divided, factionalised and acrimonious INC. Therefore, this is the beginning of the depoliticisation of our supra-Ijaw organisations.
“This brings me to the current factionalised and fractionalised INC. Let me state that this government, which is the government of the Ijaw people, is thinking and planning an all-Ijaw leadership summit.”
While congratulating the new IYC president, Diri urged him to build it to an enviable height and not assume the role of a strong man, stressing that “strong men don’t last but strong institutions do.”