Forty-five years after the end of the Nigeria-Biafra civil war, the Ijaw youths in Rivers State have publicly denounced the role their parents played in the war.
They, however, pleaded for forgiveness, saying that if the level of awareness and information available today were in the country then, that the Ijaw would have supported the Biafran cause.
Speaking at an Ohanaeze Youth Council (OYC) submit held in Owerri, the Imo State capital, the president of Ijaw Youth Council, Comrade Udengs Eradiri, stated that the Ijaw erred by not supporting the Biafran cause, citing lack of awareness and misinformation.
“If we had the type of awareness and information technology we have today then, we would have stood firmly with Biafra to win the war, but we are working hard to resolve the issue,” he stated.
He expressed joy that notwithstanding their role in the civil war, “Ndigbo voted overwhelmingly for President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan in 2011 and since then the zone has been supporting his administration.”
According to him the Ijaw youth were pleased with the understanding and pledged that Niger Delta youths would support Ndigbo “when it is their turn to produce the next president of the country.”
He regretted, however, that the issue of injustice that led to the civil war “is still the same issue bedevilling the country today.”
Appealing to youth to work to return President Jonathan on March 28, he said the president has done well to uplift the lives of Nigerians, including the almajaris, who were neglected by leaders in the past.
Pointing at some of the things that the president had done in areas of local content, cabottage law, establishing of 12 new universities, rail system, fighting of Ebola virus, setting, among others, he said the nation had not had it so good in its history.
Speaking also at the summit, host president of Ohanaeze Youth Council, Mazi Okechukwu Isieguzo, said that the youths have resolved to vote for President Jonathan.
”We have decided to pitch our tenet with the re-election of President Jonathan. We are reaffirming that with our structures in the North, we will give the 25 per cent requirement to return the president to the seat, he said.
While calling on politicians who want to use the youth for their selfish ambition to desist from such act, he expressed disappointment in some ministers for not doing enough to support the President re-election bid and called on such ministers to resign.