By Cletus Opukeme, Warri
The Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) worldwide has warned Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio to stop his political scheming to pressurized Presidential Buhari to appoint one of his loyalist from Akwa Ibom State as Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme for Ex-Niger Delta Agitators.
IYC national President Eric Omare disclosed in a press statement, said, “IYC has it in good authority that just like the way Senator Akpabio got the Presidency to delegate the supervision and control of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, he has started another political scheming to put the Presidential Amnesty Programme under the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs and appoint his loyalist from Akwa Ibom State as the Coordinator of the programme under the spurious argument that it is the turn of Akwa Ibom State to produce the Coordinator of the Amnesty programme.
“We wish to state clearly that the Presidential Amnesty programme for Ex-Niger Delta Agitators is not a programme for everybody in the Niger Delta region, but a programme specially designed for Ex-Agitaors in the region who voluntarily surrounded their arms and ammunition to the Federal Government of Nigeria. As a result the Amnesty programme, unlike the NDDC is not a turn by turn programme or agency but one that whose leadership and coordination must always be in the hands of the people and areas who understand the language of the creeks and Ex-Agitators in the Niger Delta region, who are the beneficiaries of the programme.
” It is on record that Akwa Ibom State already has a Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to the President on Niger Delta Affairs in the person of Senator Ita Enang and that is enough consideration to Godswill Akpabio and his political family for being part of the Niger Delta region.” He lamented.
The IYC called on President Buhari to completely ignore the lobbying from Senator Akpabio as Minister of Niger Delta Affairs to appoint his loyalist from Akwa Ibom State as Coordinator of the Amnesty Programme because such an action would lead to breach of the fragile peace in the Niger Delta region. The Amnesty programme is for a special class of people from the creeks of the Niger Delta region and and not for political patronage on a turn by turn basis.