Ijaw youths caution Gen. Buhari on amnesty programme

Niger Delta militants

Niger Delta militants

*Vow to return to the creeks if demand not met

Oscarline Onwuemenyi

10 April 2015, Sweetcrude, Abuja –
The Ijaw Youth Council, IYC, has urged the President-elect, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, to sustain the existing peace in the Niger Delta in order to increase oil production and prevent a return by the youth to the creeks.

The President of the Council, Mr Udengs Eradiri, who gave the advice on Thursday at a news conference in Abuja, said the existing peace in the region could be maintained if the incoming administration sustained the Presidential Amnesty Programme for ex-militants.

Reading from a resolution reached by various youths groups in the Niger Delta Region under the umbrella of IYC on April 5 in Tuomo community in Delta State, Eradiri alleged that President Goodluck Jonathan was rigged out of office by the core North in connivance with the international community and a section of the South West.

The congress noted with satisfaction President Jonathan’s achievements in office and said they have resolved to wait patiently and see if General Buhari’s administration will favour them.

He said, “The Presidential Amnesty Programme for Ex-Agitators in the Niger-Delta region, which has greatly contributed to the sustenance of peace in the Niger-Delta region, should be sustained by the incoming administration.

“President Jonathan’s extra-ordinary peace building efforts in the Niger-Delta region is responsible for the resultant increase in oil production and increased oil revenue,” Eradiri said.

Eradiri also urged Buhari to fund and strengthen the existing federal structures set up to develop the Niger-Delta region such as the Niger-Delta Development Commission, NDDC, and Niger-Delta Ministry.

“The incoming administration should address the problems of environmental degradation in the Niger-Delta region, including implementation of the UNEP report on Ogoni.

“It should also address the general environmental remediation in other parts of the region which are affected by environmental degradation,” he said.

He said the recommendations of the National Conference should be implemented by the incoming government in order to deepen the federal system of government where the federating units will develop at their own pace.

According to Eradiri, the confab recommendations will address some of the imbalances responsible for political instability in Nigeria and the desperation to control government at the centre.

“I also urge the incoming federal administration to start the process of national integration and run an all-inclusive government, to address the polarisation and disunity arising from the outcome of the presidential elections,” he said.

He recalled that the council’s advice formed its resolutions at the end of its meeting on April 5 at Tuomo community in Delta.

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