By John Ovie
The President of Ijaw National Congress (INC) Prof. Benjamin Okaba’s has urged all members of Ijaw ethnic nationality to collect their Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) and diligently exercise their franchises to make critical decisions during the forthcoming 2023 general elections.
Prof. Okaba, in a new year message he personally signed said “I, On behalf the National Executive Council, Chairman and BoT members and the Leadership of CITRE, NRC and other organs of the Ijaw National Congress (INC) congratulate all Ijaw people, home and in diaspora for successfully crossing over from 2022 to the New Year 2023 under the abiding grace of God Almighty.
“The outgone year, no doubt, was a mixed bag of appreciable progress in several respects and existential challenges of diverse proportions. Indeed, the monster 2022 flooding and its attendant massive impact on property and livelihoods was one major adversity that befell Ijaw land due to the nature of our wetlands environment.
“But the INC, however, salutes the resilience, courage and tenacity of our people for demonstrating the undying Ijaw spirit to brave all odds and the trying moments that the outgone year presented.
The INC is confident and optimistic that 2023 holds a lot of promise and opportunities for the Ijaw nation and indeed Ijaw people. We must not quiver.
“We, therefore, urge all Ijaw people to boldly step into the New Year with renewed hope, vigour and strength for better days ahead, success and advancement.
“Nevertheless, we need to remind all Ijaw people that 2023 is a crucial year for critical decisions and actions, especially because it is another year of national elections. Let us all ensure that we collect our PVCs to exercise our franchise with diligence.
“The INC urges all Ijaw people to be vigilant, conscious and sensitive to our socio-economic and political environment, more so that the Ijaw nation’s quest for resource and environmental justice, and emancipation from oppression and subjugation by the Nigerian state, remain inalienable.
“We assure all Ijaw people of our resolve and commitment to continually engage meaningfully while harnessing legitimate and non-violent mechanisms to ensure resource and environmental justice for Ijaw nation.
“The INC thanks all Ijaw people, leaders of thought and stakeholders for their unrelenting support and reposing confidence in the present leadership so far, and call for more synergy and collaboration as well as cross-fertilization of ideas to move Ijaw nation forward.
“Let us continue to encourage ourselves, love one another and strengthen our bond of unity and oneness of purpose for the realization of our collective aspirations as Ijaw people.
“Once again, the INC felicitates all Ijaw people for marching into the New Year safely and pray God to protect and sustain Ijaw nation.”