The Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta and Coordinator, Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), Prof. Charles Dokubo, has tasked Niger Delta youths to initiate life-changing ideas to improve their lives, communities and environment.
Dokubo, in a statement issued by Mr Murphy Ganagana Special Assistant, Media to the Coordinator, PAP on Wednesday in Abuja, made the remark while receiving a document, ”Ijaw Youth Development Strategy and Action Plan 2019—2023” from Ijaw youths.
According to him, it is a strategic document produced by the Ijaw Youth Consultative Forum (IYCF), which proffers a nine goal development action plan to be achieved within four years.
He promised to create a platform for collaboration and exploration of the ideas and plans in the development plan.
Dokubo urged Niger Delta youths to initiate and proffer responsive ideas, plans, programmes and solutions to better their lives through the instrumentality of the Federal Government’s Amnesty Programme.
“It is interesting for me to listen to this conversation; it is good for young men and women of my area to sit down and do something good like this.
“I’m happy in the sense that this is different from what we are used to. It is not crying for no payment of stipends or calling for removal of Charles Dokubo.
”The fact is that as people of Niger Delta, it is now we have realised what we need, and also what we can make use of within the ambit of this programme provided to us.”
Dokubo admonished them to always go beyond viewing the PAP and other similar special purpose agencies of the Federal Government as mere monthly stipend.
He said that they should always constructively engage in developmental ideas and plans that would positively impact their lives, families, communities and the nation.
“There is no part of this country that has more agencies than the Niger Delta, no part of this country has a Ministry attached to that place. It is not about all these things; It is about the fact that we have not really been using them effectively.
”My position has always been, we talk about amnesty, amnesty; amnesty will end and if it ends, what are we going to tell our people? What has it done for them? No government in this world can sustain this thing forever.
“The earlier we make use of this vehicle that has been provided for us, the better,” he said.
Dokubo maintained that his administration would, henceforth, focus on job placement, following aggressive pursuit of education, skill acquisition and empowerment for Niger Delta youth.
He directed the Head of Reintegration, Amnesty Office, Mr Brown Aroloyeteim to liaise with IYCF for greater impact.
The Executive Director, IYCF, Mr Tonte Ibraye said that the group was formed and registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission to work for the development of Ijaw nation to the benefit its youths.
He noted that IYCF’s strategic action plan aligns with both Federal Government’s policies and United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
He said that the Development Strategy and Action Plan covers peace, security, education, health, environment, empowerment, job creation, agriculture, industrialisation and skill acquisition.
Ibraye said the forum requested for the establishment of an Ijaw Parliamentary Caucus and a platform to contribute to the National Council on Niger Delta, a contribution that the Amnesty Coordinator agreed could be harnessed in a critical sector like health.