IJAW youths of Niger Delta, under auspices of Ijaw Youth Congress (IYC), have said voters will blacklist any aspirant with no genuine plan or interest to restructure Nigeria.
National President Oweilaemi Rowland said this at a restructuring forum in Port Harcourt, Rivers State capital.
Rowland noted that politicians were using the “all important” issue to score cheap points at the election without the intention to pursue the course.
He maintained that unless genuine concern on restucturing was shown by aspirants, they would be denied votes from the region.
“As a matter of fact, Niger Delta indigines have uninanimously resolved that for us the 2019 general election must be a referendum; we will take time to identify those politicians that are genuine about restructuring of the country and align with them.”
Explaining reasons for the decision, he said: “There are so many politicians who are playing politics with restructuring; we know them, but we have agreed that identifying the politician with genuine intentions on the subject matter will be the criteria to get Niger Delta votes.
“The need to restructure Nigeria now cannot be stressed enough, owing to the obvious versed spread of the country, which has made proper security of the country cumbersome.
“The responsibilities in the centre cannot be handled by just one person. If the country is restructured, powers will devolve to regions, states or local governments. This will make governance easier and development to be equitably distributed.
“So, restructuring to allow Niger Delta control the resources in its land is a must. Allowing generating units to control the resources in their areas and pay tax to the centre is what we stand for.
“To us, restructuring equally means that we must sit down and discuss Nigeria. It is an error that people who produce a nation’s resources is not partaking in resources they produce.
“Niger Delta people own and produce oil, but we do not have oil blocks; the oil blocks in our lands, behind our ancestral lands, homes are owned b persons that are neither from the area, live in the area, nor have any trace of oil in their native place,” he lamented.
Speaking on modular refineries, he said it was initiated to end oil theft in the region, but regretted that the plan has been hijacked by those who own the oil wells.