Ndubuisi Francis in Abuja
The federal government has tasked Niger Delta youths to put on their thinking caps and initiate life-changing ideas through the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) in order to improve their lives, communities and environment.
The Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta and PAP Coordinator, Prof. Charles Dokubo, handed down the charge in Abuja, when he received a document, “The Ijaw Youth Development Strategy and Action Plan 2019—2023: 9 Goals to Transform Ourselves and Our Future.”
The strategic document produced by the Ijaw Youth Consultative Forum (IYCF) proffers a nine-goal development action plan to be achieved within four years.
In a statement issued by Murphy Ganagana, his media assistant, Dukubo promised to create a platform for collaboration and exploration of the ideas and plans in the development plan and urged Niger Delta youth to initiate and proffer responsive ideas, plans, programmes and solutions to better their lives through the Amnesty Programme.
He said: “It is interesting for me to listen to this conversation. It is good for young men and women of my area to sit down and do something good like this. I am also happy in the sense that this is different from what we are used to.
“It is not crying for no payment of stipends or calling for removal of Charles Dokubo. The fact is that as people of Niger Delta, it is now we have realised what we need, and also what we can make use of within the ambit of this programme has been provided to us,” he said.
The presidential Adviser admonished them to always go beyond viewing the Amnesty Programme and similar special purpose agencies of the federal government and mere monthly stipend-paying bodies instead of authorities that they should always constructively engage with development ideas and plans that would impact on their lives, families, communities and the nation.
“There is no part of this country that has more agencies than the Niger Delta. No part of this country has a ministry attached to that place. It is not about all these things. It is about the fact that we have not really been using them effectively. My position has always been: we talk about amnesty, amnesty, amnesty. Amnesty will end.
“And if it ends, what are we going to tell our people? What has it done for them? No government in this world can sustain this thing forever. The earlier we make use of this vehicle that has been provided for us, the better,” he said.
Earlier, IYCF Executive Director, Mr. Tonte Ibraye, said group was formed and registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission to work for the development of Ijaw nation to the benefit its youth. He noted that IYCF’s strategic action plan aligns with both federal government’s policies and United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The Development Strategy and Action Plan covers peace and security, education, health, environment, empowerment, job creation, agriculture, industrialisation and skill acquisition even as IYCF requested the establishment of an Ijaw Parliamentary Caucus and a platform to contribute to the National Council on Niger Delta, a contribution that the Amnesty Coordinator agreed could be harnessed in a critical sector like health.