Youth and students bodies in the Niger Delta have said they would embark on a one million-man march in Abuja to rally support and persuade President Goodluck Jonathan to seek re-election in the 2015 elections.
The youth and students, under the aegis of Niger Delta Youth Leaders Council, said they were also ready to purchase the nomination form for Jonathan on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The Chairman of the of Niger Delta Youth Leaders Council, Mr. Ebis Orubebe, who led the youth leaders on a courtesy visit to the Special Assistant on Youth Matters to the Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Mr. George Turnah, said the march would hold on July 16.
He explained that on the day of the rally, all the states would mobilise one million Niger Delta youths to match and show the world that the youths are supportive of the President in spite of the security challenges and distractions he has faced.
According to Orubebe, “time has come for us as youth leaders to tell this country Nigeria what we have been seeing in Jonathan’s administration, especially the distractions and to say that we are no longer comfortable with it.
“Our brothers in the North have decided to distract Mr. President so that he would not give this country the needed leadership that is expected of him.
“Therefore, our youths have come to say that enough of the Boko Haram and enough of these distractions. The Niger Delta youths have come together to say no to these and that we will do anything humanly possible to protect the president.
“The youths of this region have come up en masse to ensure that the second tenure of President Jonathan is safe-guarded by us. Nobody, no amount of intimidation can stop the youths of this country from this region from supporting Mr. President,” he declared.
The Chairman warned that if the distraction of the President from attending to national matters continued, they would rise up to the occasion en mass to demonstrate that they too equally knew how to distract people.
“Tell Mr. President that the youths of the Niger Delta are solidly behind him. He should not be afraid of any intimidation. We will use the last drop of blood in our bodies to ensure that he comes back and completes his tenure till 2019.
No man in this country, no woman in this country can stop him. They know us that the struggle of the Niger Delta continues. We are saying that the youth leaders of the Niger Delta have risen. We want to match them force for force. For any attempt to distract our son from completing his eight years in office in Aso Rock, we will tell them that all of us own this country.
Responding, the SA to the NDDC MD, Turnah, reminded the youths of the achievements of the President which included the construction and reconstruction of network of high ways in the country, the building of almajiri schools to boost education of youths in the North, transformation of Nigeria’s airports, the lifting up of the embargo on unemployment, and the stabilisation of the oil industry, among others.
He told the youths that they must rise up to the challenge of defending the institution of the federal government of Nigeria and urged them to reach out to the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) and build a synergy which would enable them to solve the problem of insurgency.
Turnah said the proposed rally in Abuja was a welcome development and assured the youths that the commission would do everything within its powers to ensure that the rally succeeds.
“The MD, of course you are aware, is a product of the struggle and he has left no one in doubt of the fact that he has come here to redefine and transform the fortunes of the Niger Delta region. Let me also appreciate and congratulate all of you for coming up with a council that will now unite all youth leaders of Niger Delta extraction. This is unprecedented,” Turnah said.
He said he was particularly happy with the youths because by coming together they had provided the commission with a platform that would ease its assignment by way of effective communication with the youth leaders in the region.
“I will like to say that we will work closely with the interim leadership of the council. The council and commission will work together to ensure the success of the ideals of the commission for which you have all put yourself together to ensure,” he said.