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We need human not crocodile smile, Ijaw Youths Council tells Buhari

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Nigerian Army

The Ijaw Youths Council (IYC) yesterday took a swipe on the pending Operation Crocodile Smile II, which would begin on October 7 in the Niger Delta, saying what they want is smile of human joy from developmental projects and not crocodile smile.

The IYC president, Mr. Eric Omare, said rather than launch operation crocodile smile, the Federal Government should instead address a plethora of Niger Delta demands with the presidency.

He said: “As the Nigerian military is set to commence the operation crocodile smile II from Saturday, October 7, 2017 in the Niger Delta region, the IYC worldwide says that what the Niger Delta region needs are smile of human joy flowing from positive developmental projects and not smile of military induced crocodile. Indeed, the smile of the crocodile is ugly and not a good sight to behold. What the Niger Delta needs is beautiful human smile that would bring joy to the people through policies of development and not military operations. The Niger Delta region that has been sustaining the Nigerian state since 1958 when oil was discovered in commercial quantity at Oloibiri, Bayelsa State has experienced too much pains rather than joy.

“The IYC disagrees with the argument of the military that the operation crocodile smile is a routine military training exercise.”

We hold the strong view that military exercise of whatsoever nature is not required in the region; rather we need practical steps to address the developmental challenges facing the region. We believe that if the developmental challenges facing the region were addressed, there would be no need to train military officers in preparation for military operations of whatsoever nature in the region.

“The IYC demands that instead of operation crocodile smile, the Federal Government should fulfill its promises to the region which led to the cessation of militant activities in 2016. It is sad to note that the Federal Government has even failed to release funds for the take-off of the Maritime University, Okerenkoko, Delta State despite claim by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at Akure, Ondo State that two billion naira has been released.’’

Meanwhile, the people of Gbaramatu Kingdom, Warri South-West Local Government Area of Delta State have alleged total neglect by the state government on indigenous employment in the riverine communities.

They said the situation may portend fresh hostility if urgent steps are not taken to address the irregularities.

While decrying shortage of teachers at various primary/secondary schools in the areas, as pathetic and abysmal failure on the part of the government, the Pere of Gbaramatu Kingdom, Ogoba Oboro, Gbaram II, told journalists yesterday that the biggest challenge facing the community including others within the Gbaramatu kingdom, has been shortage of teachers.

Noting that teachers posted to the riverine communities most times reject their posting because of the terrain, the monarchy said their continued refusal and the unemployment of indigenes have hindered educational growth of the people.

But in a swift reaction, the Commissioner for Information, Mr. Patrick Ukah, dispelled the alleged neglect, insisting that various infrastructural developments had been provided in the areas in the last two years of Okowa led administration.

He, however, urged the people of Gbaramatu and other riverine communities to be patient, as more developments would be carried out.

Meanwhile, the Senator representing Delta State Senatorial District, Senator James Manager has appealed to the people of Egbema kingdom to be patient with Governor Okowa on the issue of alleged political marginalization.

He said the none availability of access road to Egbema community, was already getting the attention of the state government.



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