The Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) worldwide has described as unacceptable, the statement credited to President Muhammadu Buhari, on Wednesday, that the country’s unity was not negotiable.
Eric Omare, spokesman of IYC, made the declaration in a press statement signed and made available to journalists, on Thursday, in Warri, Delta State.
Omare said the present realities in the country were different from the realities during the regime of former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon, whom Buhari quoted in his statement to support his notion.
He said Buhari’s non-negotiable approach to the country’s unity “is an old fashioned approach to the resolution of national problems” currently plaguing the country.
“This is more so as President Buhari, in making the said statement, quoted former Head of State, General Gowon’s comment in 1967 on the unity of Nigeria.
“The circumstances of the present day Nigeria demands a renegotiation of the future unity and existence of Nigeria.
“This demand is not peculiar to the Niger Delta region, but cuts across all parts of the country,” the IYC image-maker noted.
Omare said the progress of the country was anchored on the need for President Buhari to wake up to the present reality that the current agitations from various ethnic nationalities for true federalism, resource control, regionalism and other demands, were not a fluke.
“For Nigeria to make progress, President Buhari should face the reality of the present day situation.
“Nigerians want a renegotiated Nigeria that reflects a true federal state and allows people to grow at their own pace.
“Nigeria, as presently constituted, is suffocating and the federating ethnic nationalities can no longer bear the suffocating effect of the defective structure which hampers the development of the country,” he stated.
According to him, “It is in the interest of all Nigerians to renegotiate the future unity of Nigeria.
‘‘Nigerians want a country that is united on mutually agreed terms and not the present defective structure.”
The IYC, therefore, called on “President Buhari to wake up and face the reality of the situation and stop relying on outdated notion of Nigeria’s unity,” insisting that Nigerians demanded a renegotiation.