Itsekiri youths allege exclusion from amnesty programme

01 May 2012, Sweetcrude, WARRI—ITSEKIRI youths, under the umbrella of Itsekiri Development Congress, IDC, have cried out against what they described as “selective and deliberate exclusion” of Itsekiri former militants in Niger Delta from the current amnesty programmes, particularly the different training programmes which former agitators in the region are undergoing both locally and abroad.

IDC’s Secretary, Mr. Solomon Iwetan, who briefed newsmen at the end of the group’s consultative meeting in Warri, expressed dissatisfaction with their execlusion from the programme.

He said: “The Itsekiri could no longer come to terms with the level of injustice being perpetrated by the Presidency as far as the amnesty programme was concerned.”

He said that Itsekiri youths were asked to lay down their arms with a promise that their youths and children would be gainfully engaged to divert their attention from violence, but that since the amnesty programme started, the Presidency had excluded Itsekiri people from the programme.

He explained that the amnesty programme is, “exclusively concentrated on taking care of the Ijaw and all calls and pleas to redress the anomaly were to no avail.”

He said the Itsekiri could not come to terms with the current execution of the programme as no single youth from the different Itsekiri groups of the former agitators, who officially submitted thousands of arms and ammunitions through Itsekiri National Youth Council, INYC, to the then Amnesty Committee had been considered for any of the training programmes.

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