The Bayelsa State Governor, Mr. Seriake Dickson, has described Ijaw people of the Niger Delta as the most unfairly treated in the entire country.
Dickson in a statement signed Monday by his new Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Francis Agbo, spoke when the Roland Oweilaemi-led Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) visited him in his office in Yenagoa.
He asked the youths to continue projecting issues of economic marginalization and environmental pollution affecting the region.
Dickson urged them to collaborate with the government in addressing the age-long problems of underdevelopment of the Ijaw nation by successive administrations at the federal level.
“The Ijaw nation is oppressed in Nigeria, and those of us in positions should fight and protect the Ijaw interest. The weapons and strategy for the struggle must change,” he said.
“For 60 years, there is no road to Bonny and Brass, where crude oil is lifted daily. No airport in the Ijaw nation, no oil company operating in the state pays taxes to contribute to the economy.”
“The IYC must continue to raise the legitimate issues without fear of intimidation. I expect you to mobilize and raise the consciousness of the people about the precarious situation we are in”, said the governor.
He lamented the state of the region despite its huge contributions to the economic growth of the nation.
He called on political leaders and persons in positions of trust to protect the collective interest of the Ijaw people.
But Dickson said that the struggle to emancipate the Ijaw nation was no longer about carrying weapons, “but through intellectual and persuasive means”.