By Emmanuel Addeh in Yenagoa
The Ijaw Youth Council, IYC, the influential umbrella body of all youths of Ijaw descent, on Sunday called on the Niger Delta region to prepare for a future without the federal government’s amnesty programme, which is gradually winding down.
President of the body, worldwide, Mr Udengs Eradiri, who spoke at the Ijaw House, Yenagoa, Bayelsa state, when the National Union of Bayelsa State Students, NUBSS, paid him a visit, urged all those who have benefitted from the programme to empower themselves and prepare for the next phase of the Niger Delta struggle.
‘’Right now, a conflict is about to occur because of the refusal to pay amnesty stipends. They have reduced the amnesty budget from N60 billion to N20 billion. Some names have been removed. That amount cannot even pay for the amnesty education programme, not to talk of stipends.
‘’Stipends have stopped. They tell you they are working on something. It’s a lie. Boro (Amnesty Coordinator) is working, but our politicians are not protecting the Niger Delta interest. Niger Delta senators are not defending our projects in the budget.
‘’Graduates and all others who have been empowered are expected to set up themselves somewhere. The lunch is over. We have laid our complaint, not about stipends, because nothing lasts forever, ’’ Eradiri said.
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