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Ijaw youths to Tinubu: Ignore calls for amnesty programme’s scrapping

The Ijaw Youths Network (IYN) has asked President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to ignore calls for scrapping the Presidential Amnesty Programme. The IYN, in a statement…

The Ijaw Youths Network (IYN) has asked President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to ignore calls for scrapping the Presidential Amnesty Programme.

The IYN, in a statement Sunday by its president, Frank Ebikabo, and the secretary, Federal Ebiaridor, said those calling for the scrapping of the programme were uncomfortable with the peace and stability in the Niger Delta.

It said the call was a plot to distract the new leadership of the PAP and does not deserve attention from serious minds.

The group, while reacting to the recent allegations by one Frank Tietie that there was corruption in the PAP, urged the present leadership of the amnesty programme to avoid being distracted but to be focused on the effective execution of its mandate to ensure sustenance of the peace and creation of the ideal environment for economic growth and development of the region.

“While it is not our intention to bring the odious inter-ethnic wrangling in the Niger Delta to the fore at this point, we find it obligatory to condemn the reprehensible act of hiding under the toga of ethnicity to attack the PAP.

“What the Niger Delta and indeed the country needs at this point is unity and concerted efforts for development. As a region, we have suffered too much and cannot afford these antics that have held us down.

“We find it difficult to believe that a true activist will lament that the Federal Government spent N500 billion on the PAP,” the group stated.

It said Tiete forgot to mention what the federal government had spent on the Ministry of Niger Delta and the Niger Delta Development Commission, “and why the two bodies should be scrapped for corruption if that is the standard for the survival of agencies.


“While we do not want to jump to accuse anybody of selective amnesia, we cannot forget in a hurry that, at the peak of the armed struggle before the proclamation of the Presidential Amnesty in 2009, those calling for the scrapping of the programme tagged the ex-agitators and their Ijaw ethnic nationality as troublemakers.

“However, Nigerians from outside the region appreciated the fact that there was underdevelopment, pain, agony and frustration which triggered deep resentments in the oil-producing areas.

“Nigerians know that the federal government of Nigeria did not declare a selective amnesty for the ex-militants in the Niger Delta. The 30,000 ex-agitators captured under the programme are not enrolled because they speak a particular language. Mr Tietie can ask his kinsman, General Lucky Aralile (rtd.), who was the pioneer head of the Presidential Amnesty Programme.”


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