ByÂ Samuel Oyadongha
Yenagoaâ€”Chairman of the Yenagoa Chambers of Commerce, Industry Mines and Agriculture, YECCIMA, Chief Lionel Jonathan-Omo, has described as new form of slavery,Â the implementation of the Federal Government’s development plan for the Niger Delta.
Chief Jonathan-Omo, a former Agriculture and Environment Commissioner in Bayelsa State, also faulted the amnesty programme,Â saying that the payment of stipends to former militants would not bail the region out of the vicious circle of crisis.
The YECCIMA boss, while faulting the Federal Governmentâ€™s approach to the aged long neglect of the region, said “uncoordinated socio-economic plan and execution of infrastructural and development plan in the troubled region are capable of plunging the region intoÂ more crises.”
Chief Jonathan_Omo, who spoke to newsmen,Â weekend in Yenagoa,Â also unveiled his new 204 pages book entitled â€œA comprehensive solution to the Niger Delta Crisisâ€, which is a collection of letters to President Goodluck Jonathan.
According to him, the Federal Government plan for the region will fail if the raging issue of unemployment and poor agricultural base is not holistically tackled.
â€œThe conceptualisation of the Niger Delta plan and its implementation must shift focus away from the amnesty issue alone and prosecute a development programme that will allow non-militant youths involved in economic activities.”
â€œIf the Federal Government continue to pay the former militants, will that promote them in the near future when they start raising families and become restless for an increase in the fund?
How can these former militants prosper without working for a daily living? I consider the amnesty programme a trap to enslave the youths of the region. The former militants benefiting from the â€˜Greek giftâ€™ are of low intellect to understand that they have become slaves.
They should know that other people, who struggle to make a living are worthy of note than they, who collect free gift.
â€œThe Federal Government and former militants, should know that the system will lead to nowhere. As the government is trying to appease those who had the guns, they have forgotten that those who never violate the law and never had guns are suffering butÂ more dangerous due to their education and high intellect.
They should see the amnesty programme as a gap measure and that the solution lies in agricultural revolution,â€ he added.