The Ijaw Youths Council on Saturday in Yenagoa expressed its displeasure at the non-inclusion of its delegate in the National Conference scheduled to begin soon.
In a statement issued by Mr Eric Omare, spokesman of the youth body, the IYC said the non-representation of Niger-Delta youths at the conference was “regrettable.”
He called on the conference organisers to review the delegates list to accommodate the IYC.
“The IYC views the exclusion as a deliberate attempt to stop Ijaw youths, and by extension Niger-Delta youths, from presenting their case in the age-long struggle for resource control and self-determination.
“It is on record that the IYC has been one of the most consistent advocates of a National Conference to discuss the future existence of Nigeria.
“Indeed, a National Conference is one of the foremost demands of the IYC as enshrined in the historic Kaiama Declaration.
“Therefore, for the IYC, the umbrella body of all youths of Ijaw extraction worldwide, the fourth-largest ethnic group in Nigeria, to be excluded from a list that has a total of 12 nominees from youth organisations is totally unacceptable,” Omare stated.
He said the IYC was convinced the National Conference offers the Ijaws an opportunity to correct what he called the age-long marginalisation of the people of the oil-rich Niger Delta region.
The IYC spokesman said the conference is a platform to advance the cause for resource control and self-determination which the IYC has been advocating for years.
“We, therefore, call on the relevant authorities to correct the exclusion of the IYC from participation in the National Conference without delay,” Omare said.