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Ijaw youths react to Buhari’s inaugural speech, seek review of amnesty terminal date




The Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) has expressed mixed feelings and concerns over the inaugural address of President Muhammadu Buhari in relation to the Niger Delta region.

According to a statement issued by Mr Eric Omare, Spokesman of IYC made available to newsmen in Yenagoa on Sunday, there is need to review the terminal date to accommodate those who are yet to complete the scheme.

“President Muhammadu Buhari in his speech said that the amnesty programme for ex-Niger Delta agitators would end by December 2015.

“The IYC appreciates the fact that the amnesty programme cannot continue forever and therefore must have a terminal date.

“However, the questions on the lips of beneficiaries and stakeholders in the Niger Delta region are: what would happen to those that have not been trained at as December 2015.

“And what about those still undergoing training or have not completed their training?.’’

Omare said that the termination of the programme would throw up challenges for beneficiaries of the programme who were still undergoing training and were at different level of training.

The IYC spokesman said the group expected the Federal Government to allay fears of beneficiaries who were in different parts of the world and were worried that their trainings might be affected if the programme was terminated in December 2015.

He added that the case of substantial number of ex-agitators who had not been trained was even more worrisome.

He, therefore, appealed to the Federal Government to address challenges before the programme was terminated.

On streamlining projects and programmes in the Niger Delta region to make them more effective, IYC would support any step of the Federal Government to strengthen institutions responsible for the development of the Niger Delta region.

The youths applauded the planned streamlining of policies to rapidly develop the region.

Omare said “we, however, wish to advice that any effort toward restructuring developmental institutions and projects should have the input of the people of the region at the heart of the process.

“The people of the Niger Delta must be the ones to decide the shape of developmental institutions in the region.’’

IYC had expected President Buhari to address issues such as cleaning up of the Niger Delta environment, implementation of the UNEP report on Ogoni, he said.

He added that also left out were the menace of oil theft which had greatly contributed to environmental degradation in the Niger Delta region, which he promised to tackle during the presidential campaigns in his inaugural address.




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    • chx155

      Shut up. Nigeria belongs to all of us irrespective of who you voted for. Do you mean those that voted against Mr. Buhari should go on exile ? Your head needs to be examined

      • You can beg but not dictate the new government’s agenda. The people who voted for the new govt. voted for the new govt’s agenda and rejected yours.

      • mohammed

        chx155 see my brther dont bother ur self no one shold go for exile naija is 4 us all and definatly there is need 4 the FG to look in to it and to add more time for the benefit of
        those that hve not fished and those that were not enrolled, so is
        nothing to bother about all we need is to assit them wth prayers,thnks u
        my dear

    • mike

      I wanted to say something to u until i realise ur tribe so no need

      • mohammed

        Hello mike dont mind pls foget about who and who did nt voted for him,tribe culture religion nd wht hve u blive u me Buhari is for every one nd he is for no one as he said , to me the FG should look in to it and to add more time for the benefit of those that hve not fished and those that were not enrolled, so is nothing to bother about all we need is to assit them wth prayers,thnks u my dear

      • You have nothing sensible to say because you cannot reason beyond tribalism, Bigot.

  • marc umeh

    Buhari should look at the Delta issue with empathy.
    The program may need to be restructured to weed out
    waste and corruption where the exist. But it should
    not be abandoned so quickly. Dialogue is the answer.

    • New Nigerian

      It was Jonathan’s call to make and he made it about 2 years ago…see my post above

  • New Nigerian

    We the people applaud the positive re-direction of focus for Nigerian youth, especially in the Niger Delta that would stop the bastardization of our youth anywhere in the land including the Niger Delta by ensuring that we replace upward mobility through violence, anarchy & lawlessness, with that of education-opportunities-welfare and development for all. We expect this to be complemented with ensuring that any anarchist is brought to justice based on the law of the land. Terrorist anywhere in the land is already put on notice – Though Ex-President Jonathan could not fulfill his promise that “There will be no terrorism in Nigeria by the end of 2014”, we are re-assured through the inaugural address that President Buhari would. In specific terms, all pipeline surveillance & maritime surveillance contracts should now be sunset immediately (thereby stopping th eon-going process of “theft” of 400,000 barrels per day). Also as we gave a strong mandate on the amnesty program to be allowed to run it’s full course and end as planned by Jonathan’s administration (The individual states could choose to continue the programs).

    it is instructional to mention Jonathan’s policy on it:

    Nigeria to terminate amnesty for Niger Delta militants in 2015. 2013-09-17 17:12:24

    ABUJA, Sept. 17 (Xinhua) — Nigeria is to terminate the amnesty given to ex-militants of the restive Niger Delta region in 2015, an official said Tuesday.

    Kingsley Kuku, special adviser to the Nigerian president on Niger Delta matters, told the local Punch Newspaper in an interview that the government had put in place mechanism to ensure that more than 10,000 ex-militants would have passed through various educational and vocational training within and outside the West African country before the termination of the program in 2015.

    On Sunday, another batch of 186 ex-militants left the shores of Nigeria for training in Britain, Ireland and South Africa, he noted, saying departure of the latest batch has brought to 16,683 the number of ex-militants so far sent for offshore and local training since the amnesty program started in 2010.

    “The program would be winding up by 2015 because it has a terminal date. We are pursuing this doggedly. From inception, the program was designed to run for five years which we believe should not be altered,” Kuku explained.

    About 4,000 youths have been trained in 2013. “In 2014 we will train 6,000 and in 2015, we will have less than 6,000 to train. This is novel and we do not need to delay our work to remain in office. That is not our vision,” he said.

    Out of the latest batch of 186, 60 would undergo a 12-month vocational training in South Africa as emergency medical technicians, while the remaining 126 will be studying various courses in tertiary institutions in Britain and Ireland.

    The latest batch of trainees is the largest to be sent to Britain, he noted, describing it as a unique opportunity.

    The amnesty program was established by Nigeria’s late president Umaru Yar’Adua to rehabilitate ex-militants who renounced fighting and surrendered their weapons under the government’s terms for ceasefire.”””.

  • honesty NO1

    Extending the amnesty should not be mandatory to the FED because if you look at the Government of the oil producing states all the money allocated to these states both for social development environmental management even billions of Naira contract for pipe line surveillance despite the fact that we have the law enforcement agent.The billions goes into the pockets of the few cabals in this region.The deltans do not allow any none deltans to execute any contract in their state. May be Nigeria should move away from the oil economy and let us see what they can do with their oil. We should start diversification now. We must not wait.