By Davies Iheamnachor
Youth leaders in the Niger Delta region have backed the ongoing reforms in the Presidential Amnesty Programme, PAP, under the Interim Administrator, Col. Milland Dixon Dikio (retd).
The leaders also urged Dikio to keep resisting the pressure to pay desperate and evil contractors for unverified projects.
The leaders in a letter addressed to the PAP Administrator on Tuesday in Port Harcourt by the Coordinator and former Spokesman of Ijaw Youths Council, IYC, Jeremaiah Owoupele, noted that Dikio endeared himself to stakeholders in the Niger Delta when he took time to tour the region and engage critical owners of the programme.
Owoupele said: “Your strength of character really manifested when you remained unyielding when urged to pay contractors who did imaginary jobs and whose stock in trade is to find willing allies in defrauding our people and depriving them the opportunity of getting the benefits of our hard earned struggle.
“This has further struck a chord amongst the vast majority of our people, particularly leaders across the length and breadth of our beloved Ijaw nation who have championed several crusades to ensure that office holders retain a character that is people-oriented.
“Please allow us to also commend your approach to the responsibility of leadership and how you launched your tenure. Despite the unique burden on your shoulders, you took time to visit and consult with stakeholders of the region. You visited and checked in with leaders whose contributions to our history retain a character of indelibility.
“You have stolen our hearts and in the process created relationships which shows that you have our beloved people at the epicentre of your heart and agenda.”
Owoupele informed Dikio that the leaders were aware of plans by profiteers of anti-people’s policies in the region to frustrate his plans and continued with their business as usual, but urged him not to compromise his ideals.
He said: “We are also aware that those, who profiteer in anti-people’s policies and actions have sworn to undercut your time in office for the simple fact that you have resolved not to compromise your ideals and allow them to perpetually plunder our common wealth.
“Please be assured that God, the omnipresent is with thee. We the good people, the development loving people of Ijaw land are all behind you as long as you adhere to this strict code of ensuring that the narrative of our people is positively changed.
“As we go forward, our council and all other good people will begin to liaise with you at intervals to evaluate your progress and constructively criticize, while also providing alternative paths and solutions where necessary. Ours is to play the part of a watchdog with a view to ensuring that you right the wrongs committed under your predecessors.
“Let me assure you that we will stand with you at all times provided you remain on the sacred and expected path of putting our people first. Please be aware that if you were to brake this sacred creed, you will find us as bees that will sting with the severity of an angry mob.”