By DANIEL GUMM
WARRI—THE Itsekiri, under the aegis of Itsekiri National Youths Council, INYC, has petitioned the House of Representatives over alleged exclusion of former militants of Itsekiri extraction from the amnesty programme.
The petition, by Messrs David Tonwe and Isaac Dorsu, National President and General Secretary, respectively, to the Speaker, Alhaji Waziri Tambuwal, alleged “we are constrained to draw your attention to the deliberate refusal of the Presidential Special Adviser on Niger Delta, Mr Kingsley Kuku, whose office is saddled with the responsibility of implementing the post-amnesty programme in the Niger Delta region, to accommodate ‘qualified’ youths of Itsekiri extraction into the post-amnesty programme, despite the fact that these former armed youths had given up all illegal arms to representatives of the then amnesty committee.
They had and also completely renounced militancy, in response to the June 2005-2009 proclamation of amnesty for Niger Delta militants.”
The group alleged that “from media reports over 23,000 former armed youths have benefited from the post-amnesty programme. It is now clear to us that Mr Kuku is least interested in accommodating any ‘qualified’ youth of Itsekiri extraction into the post-amnesty programme, and the reason for this anti-Itsekiri position can, among others, be located within the context of the inter-Ijaw and Itsekiri differences.
”Given the extent to which he is prepared to go in denying any Itsekiri youth, irrespective of meeting the necessary requirements for participating in the post-amnesty programme, we are constrained to humbly seek the intervention of this House.”
The petition which was presented on the floor of the House by the member representing Warri Federal Constituency, Mr. Daniel Reyenieju, has been referred to the House Committee on Public Petition.”
The House had earlier set up a joint committee to look into the level of implementation of the amnesty programme. The action was necessitated by reports of disgruntlement from different groups and individuals from the Niger Delta region alleging selective approach to the implementation.