Bayelsa youths protest against FG’s neglect of N’Delta, seek resource control
• Omo-Agege urges peace as amnesty beneficiaries tackle Dikio over appointments
• PAP moves to stop controversial student verification
Hundreds of Bayelsa State youths, yesterday, protested against Federal Government’s neglect and alleged unfair treatment of the Niger Delta in Yenagoa, the state capital.
The youths marched from the popular Tombia Roundabout and converged on the Ekeki Park, urging the Niger Delta people to join the protest and demand resource control and restructuring of Nigeria.
With the hashtag #ResourceControlNow, the youth asked President Muhammadu Buhari to urgently convene a national dialogue to curtail rising tensions in the region.
Spokesman of the youths, Bodmas Kemepadei, said although Nigeria’s problems were multifaceted, the Niger Delta was underdeveloped and neglected, blaming the colonial masters for the country’s woes.
He said the colonial collaborators were wicked in their decision to merge the country with unpleasant consequences being witnessed currently in Nigeria, adding that the amalgamation experiment failed the country.
“The several challenges facing the country require total restructuring. We urge all Niger Delta people to join the protest. Nigeria can only get better when all regions are allowed to control their resources. If Zamfara State can be allowed to sell its gold, why can’t we? We want oil companies to relocate to their host communities,” he said.
ALSO, Deputy President of the Senate, Ovie Omo-Agege, in a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, admonished members of the Reformed Niger Delta Avengers (RNDA) to shelve their planned attacks on oil facilities in the region.
Omo-Agege said going ahead with their threats would create economic setback for the country and additional environmental degradation in the area.
This followed recent threats by a coalition of militant groups in the Niger Delta to resume hostilities by attacking oil and gas facilities if the Federal Government failed to meet the demands of #EndSARS protesters in the country.
RELATEDLY, a coalition of youth leaders and beneficiaries of the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), who members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) have petitioned President Muhammadu Buhari to disengage the sole administrator of the programme, Col. Milland Dixon Dikio (rtd.), for appointing Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) members as aides.
Speaking at a media briefing in Abuja, its National Coordinator, Perekeme Joseph, said Dikio has been running the programme like his personal estate without consulting traditional rulers and leaders of the region.
The coalition also challenged Dikio to immediately verify all the students yet to be cleared by the Verification Committee to save them from further embarrassments, as most of them have already been evacuated from school.
MEANWHILE, the Presidential Amnesty Office has adopted measures to stop the controversial verification of students under its scholarship programme.
Dikio said in a statement that students verification should be a simple administrative procedure and directed the Reintegration Department to address the issues.