…Say programme has failed
By Davies Iheamnachor, PORT HARCOURT
The Ijaw Youths Council, IYC, Worldwide has stated that the Federal Government has failed to take the Presidential Amnesty Programme, PAP, beyond disarmament and demobilisation, stating that the people the programme has failed.
IYC also opined that the second wave of militancy is brewing in the Niger Delta region if FG failed to implement in the full package of the PAP.
In a statement in Port Harcourt yesterday, IYC President, Deacon Timothy Peter Igbifa, said the country may not survive a return to militancy by aggrieved youths of the region, wondering why the government chose to play politics with an important programme.
Igbifa recalled that the amnesty project was initiated to take youths out of the creeks and integrate them into the society through a well-organised programme of empowerment and development of the region.
He bemoaned that the amnesty scheme has not gone beyond its disarmament phase, noting that the federal government had failed to advance the programme to the next phase because of the continuous free-flow of crude oil production.
Igbifa said: “The amnesty scheme has not lived up to its purpose. The Federal Government has failed woefully to take the programme beyond the disarmament and demobilisation stage because they feel they have successfully brought the youths out of the creeks and nothing is disturbing oil production. So, the government is currently playing politics with the scheme.”
The IYC all stakeholders had waited in vain to see multiple jobs created in the region by the amnesty programme and the transformation of the Niger Delta into modern cities bubbling with economic prosperity and social harmony.
He noted that the appointment of Col. Miland Dixon Dikio (retd) as the interim administrator of PAP had provided the government with another opportunity to reposition the programme.
Igbifa asked the government to give maximum support to Dikio warning that if the FG failed to act fast in implementing the complete PAP framework, militancy would resurface in the region.
Igbifa said: “The second wave of militancy is looming in the region and it will be very difficult for the country to survive it. The only thing left for the government to do is ensure all promises contained in the amnesty programme are fulfilled without further.
“With the appointment of the current interim administrator, an opportunity has been opened to redeem the situation. Any attempt to maintain the business-as-usual approach to the management of PAP will lead to fresh militancy in the region.
“Our interest is in the infrastructural development of the Niger Delta which is the responsibility of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), the Ministry of the Niger Delta Affairs and the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP). This developmental plan must be activated immediately.
“We need environmental remediation of the Niger Delta region to be coordinated by these interventionist agencies and programmes. They should also include taking care of people from impacted and affected communities.
“We need the quick passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) into law to promote equity and entrench peace in the Niger Delta. The bill is supposed to help host communities within the region take advantage of the oil economy in the region”.