Thursday, July 25, 2024
HomeHeadlineDemocracy Day: Ijaw Youths Council urges FG to grow Liberal ideals

Democracy Day: Ijaw Youths Council urges FG to grow Liberal ideals


The Ijaw Youths Council (IYC) has advocated the enthronement and growth of tolerance and civil liberties in the nation’s democracy.

The IYC’s position is contained in a statement to commemorate the 2024 Democracy Day issued by Mr Bedford Berefa
National Spokesman of the IYC in Yenagoa on Wednesday.

“The day, June 12, 1993, has gone down in history as a day when Nigerians experienced the freest and fairest elections, which led to the struggle that gave birth to the current democratic dispensation.

“However, after several years of democratic rule in the county, it seems the traces of military rule in governance are still hidden somewhere. The use of absolute power in the executive arm of government dominates greatly.

“Our democracy has been militarized with no consideration for the people, the power of the people has been undermined, the people are no longer the centre of government, manipulations and intimidation of the people has become prevalent,”. Berefa said.

The IYC observed that there have been constant human rights violations particularly in the Ijaw nation and the Niger Delta region.

“At the slightest provocation, communities and people are being brutalised. The recent military escapade at the Igbomotoru community in Bayelsa state tells it all. Communities are constantly ransacked by the military, and harmless people are being extrajudicially killed in an acclaimed democracy with no form of investigation done to protect the rights of the people.

“This is deliberate practice to constantly enslave our people and it can be likened to colonial democracy using poverty like an atomic weapon,” IYC said.

The IYC noted that a democracy where the military is constantly deployed in a democratic election as if the nation is at war is unacceptable.

The youth group said that it is shocking that the military is allegedly being used as rigging elements to secure fraudulent victory for the highest bidder.


“Also, It is quite appalling that the annual take-home pay of elective political leaders in the National Assembly is worth the 35-year salary of a civil servant. This is an aberration of our democracy.

“Politics seems more valuable than men and women who put their lives on the line to protect and project the vibrant Nigerian state. We have been told of how justice is being monetized and goes to the highest bidder.

“We are experiencing a politically selfish era where our politicians only think about themselves, how to enrich their families to the detriment of the people who chose them to serve. This has dampened the patriotic spirit of Nigerians as many no longer believe in the future of the nation, hence the increase in young people leaving the country,” the statement read in part.

The IYC called for strategic policy framework to address the militarization of Nigeria’s democracy.

“There is a need to urgently tackle the issues of injustice meted on the people particularly in the Ijaw nation and the entire Niger Delta, we can no longer continue to play the second fiddle while we are naturally endowed with resources that largely contribute to the growth and continuous development of the country.

“We can no longer allow our fate to be decided by the political bigwigs without due consultation and involvement of the people.

“While we appreciate the President Bola Ahmed Tinubu led the federal government for trusting young people with ministerial portfolios and other strategic offices, we demand that democratic patriotism must start from political office holders, it has to be a top to bottom approach.

“The IYC calls for an urgent review of the democracy we practise in the country and says that it is old-fashioned and too autocratic, we note that the executive amasses so much powers that regularly widens the social injustice gap. We demand a referendum that should return Nigeria back to regional government the way we have reverted to the old national anthem.

“We shall continue to clamour for resource control and self determination as entrenched in our 1998 Kaiama Declaration,” Berefa stated.



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