Ijaw Youths from the nine states of the Niger Delta on Monday offered reasons why Nigerians have lost the sense of nationalism and nationhood, saying the various parts of the country have not been treated equally by the federal government.
The Ijaw Youths under the aegis of the Ijaw Youth Council Worldwide noted that though the nation has attained 57 years, it is unfortunate that the regions including the Niger Delta and other minorities are more loyal to their region than the Nigerian nation.
The President of the Ijaw Youths Council (IYC), Barr. Eric Omare, in a statement issued via email to mark the 57th anniversary of independence, said the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) worldwide has calling on the federal government to ensure that the only solution that will re-ignite sense of nationalism in Nigerians is for parts of the country to be treated equally especially the people of the Niger Delta and minorities.
According to the IYC: “When treated equally, it will build national unity and a sense of nationhood. It is unfortunate that at 57, there is no sense of nationalism among Nigerians; instead the allegiance of Nigerians is mostly to their ethnic origin instead of the federal republic of Nigeria.
“In the view of the IYC, the lack of nationalism is not because Nigerians from different parts of the country hate each other but the failure of successive governments in Nigeria to treat every part of the country equally and instill the sense of nationalism in Nigerians.
” For Nigeria to achieve national cohesion, the leadership at the centre must remove all policies of government that encourage nepotism and sectionalism. Nigerians should be given equal opportunities irrespective of their places of origin.
“The IYC strongly holds the view that the present system where some part of the country have born to rule mentality together with the unjust exploitation of the Niger Delta resources without commensurate benefit cannot promote a sense of nationalism.
“We therefore call on the federal government to remove all structural injustices so as to encourage a sense of nationalism. In this respect, we call on the Nigerian government to quickly start the process of restructuring the country for every part to control their resources and develop at their own pace.”