The Ijaw National Congress (INC) on Tuesday canvassed support for restructuring in the country.
President of the Congress, Prof. Benjamin Okaba, made the call when he led INC executive on a visit to Elder Statesman and Ijaw leader, Chief Edwin Clark, at his Abuja residence.
Okaba said that as senators would vote on the 16 thematic areas highlighted in the 1999 Constitution during the ongoing amendment process they should consider the vote on restructuring to check “marginalisation”.
He said “Unless this country is restructured, we cannot move forward.
“We (the Ijaw people) shall continue to tell people that unless we go back to the understanding we had in 1960 we cannot achieve much.
“We should go back to Fiscal Federalism that was practiced when cocoa, groundnut and palm oil were the mainstay of our economy.
“We are convinced more than before that the Ijaw agenda is all about survival,” he said.
Okaba, who was newly elected with his executive said that their visit to the elder statesman was in three-fold:
“To introduce formally the newly elected executive council of the INC worldwide.
“The second is to seek his blessing and celebrate our daddy as he marks 94 years.
“Today, we have come to present the trophy of that contest, 14 of us holding different positions.
“We are building consensus very fast. We are giving you the assurance this boat that you started long time ago, we are going to assist you in taking it to greater heights,’’ he said.
In his response, Clark urged the new leadership of INC to work assiduously in uniting the Ijaw people.
“You were elected to serve your people, to project your people. The Ijaw voice must be heard outside.
“We have an assignment for the Ijaw people, within the next three to four years; we want to see you protecting the interest of the Ijaw people.
“When you belong to a team that team must move together.
“In every boat there is only one captain, the captain will have supporters, so carry everyone along in the discharge of your duties,” Clark said.(NAN)