Emmanuel Addeh in Yenagoa
Youths of Ijaw descent on Sunday expressed delight over the Presidential Amnesty Office’s plan to collaborate with Nigeria’s ministry of agriculture and Israeli agro experts on the training of restive youths in the Niger Delta region at the Natural Bio-Resources Centre, Odi, Bayelsa state.
The Ijaw youths who bemoaned the neglect of the centre before now, also appealed to the Federal Government to increase funding for the office of the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) to be able to carry out its core mandate.
According to them, the amnesty office currently headed by Gen. Paul Boroh (retd.) remains one of the most viable vehicles to minimise violence in the region and solve the current biting unemployment, especially among the youths of the region.
Mr Elvis Donkemezuo who leads a faction of the influential Ijaw Youth Congress, IYC, who spoke in Yenagoa, advised youths in the region to shun violence and key in to the ‘renewed’ effort to offer them a sustainable means of livelihood.
He added that for Boroh to have recognised the potential of the Odi centre, which had been abandoned since its establishment, underscored his zeal to transform the region.
The Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonaya Onu, on a visit to the facility earlier this year, had expressed optimism that the centre had the capacity for quick technology transfer to rural dwellers and farmers to increase agricultural yields.
Donkemezuo said, “We are thrilled by the report that the amnesty office entered into partnership with an Israeli team, the Ministry of Agriculture to train ex-agitators on specific areas of agriculture at the Natural Bio-Resources Centre, Odi.
“Ijaw youths are happy that the Coordinator of the Amnesty Office, Paul Boroh, is thinking in this direction. For him to have remembered to harness the potential of the abandoned centre shows his commitment to the Niger Delta project.
“This is what we have been asking for. Trainings like this should be domiciled in the Niger Delta region. Nobody has deemed it fit to tap the resources in this Odi facility. But today, Boroh is thinking in that direction”.
More details later