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Date: Mon, 12 Apr 1999 22:49:24 -0500 (CDT)
From: Agent Smiley <smiley_777@hotmail.com>
Article: 60699
To: undisclosed-recipients:;
Message-ID: <bulk.29234.19990413062015@chumbly.math.missouri.edu>

From: disera@infoweb.abs.net
To: Multiple recipients of list SHELL-NIGERIA-ACTION <shell-nigeria- action@essential.org>
Date: Tue, 6 Apr 1999 05:27:48 -0400

Communique issued at the end of the 7th council meeting of Ijaw youths held at Kalabiama community in the OPOBP clan of Ijawland on the 20th day of March 1999

From Ijaw Youths Council, organ of the All Ijaw Youth Conference, C/O Ijaw National Congress, # 1, Aggrey Road, Port Harcourt, Nigeria. 6 April 1999


Delegates and council members from the 67 clans of Ijawland met at the ancient town of Kalabiama in the Opobo Clan of Ijawland on Saturday the 20th day of March 1999. This is the 7th paliamentary meeting of Ijaw Youths since the Kaiama Declaration. Other paliamentary sessions had taken place in Bomadi (Bulu-toru Clan)twice; Oloibiri (Ogbia); Minama (Kalabari Clan); Ogu-Bolo (Okrika); and Kongho (Akassa).

The Opobo session saw an examination of local, national and international issues and interests which borders on our march to our self-determination as people. Council reviewed and approved the work of the collegiate leadership as mandated from the last meeting at Akassa and agreed as follows:

(1) The period set aside for the mourning of our slain colleagues officially ended on the 24th of March and agreed that the collegiate leadership should take all necessary steps to immortalise all those killed for the Ijaw cause. Council, however, urged all Ijaws to prepare for greater challenges ahead because the hearts of our oppressors have been hardened against our struggle for freedom and justice.The mourning period we declared should have been a period of sober reflection for them but we can now confirm that they are bent on killing more as the recent deployment of troops and armaments in the Ijaw area have shown.

(2) COUNCIL noted the refusal of the military dictatorship and the oil transnationals to enter into dialogue with the elected representatives of the Ijaw people saying it is a sign of intolerance and avowed faith in the gun. Council brushed aside their refusal and empowered the collegiate leadership to engage in genuine dialogue that would lead to:

(a) The release of all bodies of Ijaw youths killed between December 30th and February 28th 1999 for proper burial in accordance with our custom and tradition.

(b) Realisation of all aspects of the Kaiama Declaration.

(c) The de-militarisation of Ijawland.

(d) Peaceful co-existence among the Ijaw people and also between the Ijaws and their neighbours.

(e) Development and for our collective self-actualisation.

(3) COUNCIL vigorously kicked against the rumoured implementation of the 13% Revenue allocation formula; the allocation of 11 oil blocks in the deep waters to some so called indigenous oil companies; the recent posting of some 41 ambassadors to countries around the world and the recommendation by the panel of generals headed by one General Oladayo Popoola on the matter of the Niger Delta. The council said what the Ijaws want is a control of their natural resources with which we as a people can carry out programmes and projects which suit our culture, our custom and our aspirations as human beings. Gone are the days of Father Christmas of that distant, disinterested and corrupt federal dictatorship. We urge those who have been allocated oil blocks to reject them. We urge all the OIL ALLOTEES not to pay the 20 million dollars to the ruling generals until the issue of ownership of resources in Nigeria is democratically resolved. We Ijaws are fishermen and women in the main. Whoever that must do business in our land must have the capacity to protect our collective heritage. Our waters are our source of survival. Ijaw Youths will take necessary political action to protect our people, our waters and our land as the economic colonisation advances Sea wards. The ambassadorial posting is insensitive, unfederal and provocative. We reject it.

Similarly, the recommendation of the General Popoola panel is very insulting. Our suspicion is that like all such ambitious contract-inspired development plans, it may be designed to give opportunity for the perpetuation of ten per centers and other forms of corruption. We the Ijaws know what to do with our resources and our money. What we expect the generals to do is to cancel all the obnoxious decrees that they fashioned to impoverish us and to quietly vacate from the governance of our Country.

(4) COUNCIL challenged the Abubakar regime and the incoming civilian government to put all the issues concerning control of resources; obnoxious decrees; Environmental protection; Revenue formula; type of federation etc to a referendum in the Niger Delta.

Council is convinced that the oppressed and deprived people of the Niger Delta will reject all the oppressive policies that have been fashioned against her these past 42 years.

(5) COUNCIL commended the unity of he Ijaws in their demand for justice from the federal military dictatorship and the oil transnational companies. Council, particularly commended the role some of our elders have played in the ongoing struggle for self-determination for our nation. Despite the tempting torrents of carrots ferried from house to house and from office to office by agents of the ruling Generals and corporate bodies, our elders have remained resolute for justice. They have refused to succumb to the lure of lucre. Under intense pressure from the controllers of state power and the corporations some nearly sold their Ijawness for some ridiculous recognition. Council now welcomes all such prodigal kings, Elders and opinion makers saying:

The Youths of Ijawland will never betray the cause for which our liberation is tied. The future belongs to us all, whether as ancestors, elders or youths. There is a great life after the pain of every struggle. Let us learn from history of other struggles where internal conflict could stunt giant strides towards freedom and justice.

(6) COUNCIL called for investigation into the submissions from Ijaw scholars, historians and nationalist to the effect that the British betrayed, abused and ignored the pacts the Ijaws had with them to LET US BE. In particular, council was called to look at the TREATIES signed by the Delta, particularly as it relates to the Ijaw Nation. Council was informed that the Treaties were Treaties of protection and self-determination but that Britain and their successors and assigns, the military dictatorship, have abused these Treaties and there is therefore the need to take every step to reclaim and reposses our possesions. The collegiate leadership was empowered by council to make adequate representation to Her Britannic Majesty, the Queen of England, Queen Elizbeth II, the British Prime Minister Tony Blair and the House of Commons. Council empowered the ASAWO-OPU and CLUB 67 of Opobo Clan, the Nembe 1895 Movement and the Bonny Protection Organisation to work with the collegiate leadership of the Ijaw Youth Council on this diplomatic Initiative aimed at attaining self-determination for the Ijaw people.

(7) COUNCIL once again dissociated itself from the alleged incidents of kidnapping, hijacking and hostage takings, noting that undue emphasis has been placed on these criminal acts ostensibly to discredit the legitimate struggles of the Ijaw people for self-determination.

(8) COUNCIL observed with approval the near cessation of hostilities among various communities of Ijawland and also between Ijaws and Itsekiri and between Ijaws and the Ilajes. Council noted that such hostilities were rife between the Ogoni and the Andoni and between the Ogoni and the Okrika in the heat of the Ken Saro Wiwa led popular struggle of the Movement of the Survival of the Ogoni people. Council commended the people for heeding the call for peaceful co-existence and directing their energies on the real enemies-the oil transnationals and the military dictatorship. Council observed that joint struggle can give birth to the sweetest victory. The agent of disunity and exploitation are united in PROFIT. We must be united in our aspiration for freedom and justice.


Felix Tuodolo
Oronto Douglas
Kingsley Kuku