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Ijaw youths plan one-million-man march against alleged anti-Niger Delta policies

The Maritime University site in Okerenkoko

As Burutu people protests plans to scrap Maritime Varsity

By Emma Amaize & Samuel Oyadongha

Ijaw Youth Council, IYC, worldwide, yesterday, announced plans to embark on a one-million-man protest march against perceived wrong policies against the Niger Delta region by the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, including the planned closure of the Maritime University.

The protest march, according to IYC, will include a youth convention at the temporary site of Maritime University, in Korutie community and would involve various Niger Delta communities, student organisations, sympathizers of development education, the tertiary institutions in the region, and clans, local and international youth organizations are expected to halt the noticeable lopsided and biased policies of the present administration against the people and entity known as the Niger Delta region.

Also, reverine residents of Ogulagha in Burutu Local Government Area, Delta State, took to the streets of the community, in protest over the plan by the Federal Government to scrap the Maritime university.

Similarly, Chief Boro Lala of Burutu council has kicked against the scrapping of the maritime varsity in Okorenkoko.The Maritime University site in Okerenkoko

Addressing newsmen in Warri, Lala condemned the purported intention of Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, the Minister of Transportation and Aviation to scrap the maritime university.

On why the university should not be scraped, Lala noted that the contribution of the area to the common wealth of the nation cannot be overemphasized as no project was adequate compensation to the people.

Lamenting why Amaechi, who is from the Niger Delta, could conceive such a move, he pleaded with President Muhammadu Buahri to listen to the voice of reason coming from reputable Nigerians who genuinely desire the university to stay as originally planned by the Federal Government under the administration of Dr Goodluck Jonathan.

Ikimi vows to drag FG before ECOWAS court

Also, Centre for the Vulnerable and Underprivileged, led by Oghenjabor Ikimi, has threatened to drag the Federal Government before the ECOWAS Court of Justice if it fails to rescind its decision to scrap the university.

“Assuming, without conceding that the nation has security challenges in Okerenkoko and the entire Gbaramatu Kingdom, is scrapping of the maritime university the solution to the above challenge? Is it not the primary responsibility of the Federal Government to ensure the welfare and security of her citizens? Alternatively, is the Federal Government admitting to the whole world that it has failed her citizens in the above regard?” he quarried.

Thousands of Ogulagha youths, led by their president, Bright Guwor, who thronged the streets of Burutu, said it was unjust to cancel the university after the authorities had completed arrangements for its take-off from the temporary site this academic session.

IYC plans protest

President of IYC, Udengs Eradiri, who made the disclosure in Yenagoa, Baleya State, said, though the protest was not targeted against the person and office of President Buhari, it was an open message to the current administration that the people of the region were tired of retrogressive policies against the region and its people.

“It is to show to the world that the President is too busy to closely monitor what is happening in the Niger Delta region,” he said.

On the planned scrapping of the Maritime University, Eradiri said though the people of the region should not castigate Amaechi for the planned scrapping of the University, “Amaechi is only a messenger sent by some Northern powers.

“It has shown in past actions. Immediately Buhari took office, the first casualty was NIMASA Managing Director. Immediately the acting DG took over, the first action he took was to suspend work on the Maritime University and the second action was to suspend funding for Nigerians undergoing studies in foreign universities because of vendetta.

“So, people should not throw tantrums at Amaechi. This matter started in June and we have written series of letters to President Buhari. The administration is ill-informed despite seeing pictures of the institution on the internet. Buhari should now know that the claim by Amaechi that only feasibility study was done have now been seen as false.

“We have met the Niger Delta Minister and he was perplexed that the claim was false and that even the N13 billion land fraud was part of the development in the institution.”