The Ijaw Elders Forum (IEF), Lagos State chapter, has described as a new dawn emergency of the new leadership of the Ijaw National Congress (INC), following an election on March 30.
This is contained in a statement signed by IEF Chairman, Chief Bukazi Etete and Secretary, Efiye Bribena, on Tuesday in Yenagoa.
The statement felicitated the new Executive of INC, led by Prof. Benjamin Okaba and the entire Ijaw Nation for the peaceful and credible election.
The IEF in the statement observed that the poll produced a generally accepted leadership for the foremost socio-cultural organisation of the Ijaw Nation.
“We congratulate our Vice Chairman, Chief Atamuno Atamuno, on his election as Vice President 1 of INC Worldwide.
“We acknowledge the electoral committee led by HRH Prof. Dagogo Fubara, for navigating through the initial difficulties to produce a credible and fair election widely accepted by all parties.
“The Ijaw Nation owes you and your team a load of gratitude for a job well done.
“We also acknowledge the great Ijaw men and women that volunteered to serve the Ijaw Nation through INC but lost in the elections.
”You are indeed patriots for conceding and acknowledging that the election process was fair and credible,” the statement observed.
It also said the sense of sportsmanship displayed by those who participated in the election gave hope for better leadership in Ijaw Nation.
The forum, in the statement, commended Gov. Douye Diri, for the support given to INC and for allowing the executive a free hand in the elections.
The statement acknowledged the patriotic Ijaw men and women that challenged the status-quo to produce the electoral feat for the Ijaw Nation.
It stated that with the emergence of Okaba led executive, there was hope that the Ijaw agenda would take center stage in articulating Ijaw interests.
The IEF noted that when relating with other ethnic nationalities and groups, the Ijaw ethnic nationality would be accorded its rightful place.
“We expect the new EXCO to lead the Ijaw Nation to take her rightful place as the fourth largest tribe in Nigeria. Expectations are high.
“We expect a very robust engagement with all parties concerning the existential threats facing the Ijaw people, the continuous despoliation and destruction of our environment,” it said.
The statement added that the continuous exploitation of mineral resources without adequate compensation to Ijaw people, the general neglect and issues bordering on self-determination should be addressed.