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Tuesday, 30 January 2018

2019 is going to be a referendum against agents of restructuring - Dickson, Niger Delta leaders

Ahead of 2019, top leaders from the Ijaw ethnic nationality on converged at Kiagbodo, the country home of its national leader, Chief Edwin Clark, to take a definite position on restructure and the 2019 elections in the country.

Governor Dickson later told journalists after the meeting on Tuesday, January 30, that the leaders took a critical look at the issue of restructuring and took further steps to reaffirm their position that restructuring was a matter of survival to the Ijaw people.

Dickson added that the meeting resolved that Ijaw people who are the most affected by the current situation in the country would only vote candidates with genuine and demonstrable support for restructuring irrespective of political party.

The governor also said in a statement by his special adviser on media relations, Fidelis Soriwei, that it was the position of the meeting that the next general election would be a referendum on restructuring across Ijaw land.


Dickson and Clark at the meeting. Credit: Bayelsa Press
"The next election is going to be a referendum on restructuring because it affects the well being and survival of our people. We will be with candidates who are genuinely committed to this issue of restructuring," the governor said.

According to the governor, the leaders also commended the work of the All Progressives Congress committee on restructuring led by Governor Nasir El Rufai òf Kaduna state, which made far reaching recommendations on the burning issue of restructuring in the country.

The governor and the leaders called on the APC and indeed President Muhamnadu Buhari to show the requisite courage to ensure implementation of the committee's report before 2019 as a test of their sincerity.

Dickson said that the leaders urged Buhari to show statesmanship and the courage to commence a process of legislation to implement the party's position on restructuring.

He revealed that the meeting also set up a high-powered committee on the issue of restructuring and the report of the APC on it.

The committee has five representatives each from the three zones to which the Ijaw nation is divided - the west, the central and the east - and has three weeks to submit its reports.

"We have also examined the subject matter of restructuring. People shouldn't play politics with the issue of restructuring. It is about the survival and well being of our people, it is about the stability of Nigeria. It is far more beyond politics, the Ijaws are passionate about it.

"We commend all Nigerians from wherever they come from who are in support of his issue of restructuring.


Dickson, Clark and another guest at the event. Credit: Bayelsa Press
"Concerning the recommendations of the APC committee, we call for sincere commitment, we call on the President to lead the charge to restructure the country which will lead to an equitable just and fair Nigeria.

"A high powered committee had been set up on this issue of restructuring, the APC report and other matters," he said
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