Major stakeholders from the Niger Delta have been enjoined to put their differences aside, close ranks and take full advantage of the opportunities presented to them with the presence of interventionist agencies including the Presidential Amnesty Programme to change the fortunes of the region.
The call which is contained in a statement issued in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State by the Niger Delta Peace Advocates (NDPA) says for long, people have been singing in discordant tunes to the detriment of advancing the socio-economic well-being of the region.
The statement jointly signed by Ebitimi Kurowei and Amangiye Thomas, Chairman and Secretary respectively, the NDPA noted that the Niger Delta Region is in a state of distress.
The group noted that “Part of the problems of the Niger Delta are self-inflicted. There is lack of cohesion, unity and the seeming culture of calling out those charged with the responsibility of developing the area to public ridicule is a very worrying trend”.

It said “A case in point is the Presidential Amnesty Programme, where the Interim Administrator, General Barry Ndiomu has made tremendous transformations with a shift from the past and focusing more on the sustainability of ex-agitators now and for the future”.
The Niger Delta Peace Advocates urged people of the region to instead of dissipating energy on disparaging General Ndiomu, they should rather pool their resources together to form a body of experts to offer diverse pieces of professional advice and ideas on how to explore the potentials of ex-agitators and youths from the region towards positive directions.
The group argued that if the Presidential Amnesty Programme and the Niger Delta Development Commission had been established elsewhere in the country, people from such places would have taken full advantage of the opportunities presented by those agencies and work closely with their managements to reap maximally from them.
According to the statement, the NDPA regrets that the reverse is the case in the Niger Delta and wondered why some people have turned themselves into cogs in the wheels of progress in the region.
“We condemn the culture of entitlement among our people particularly the majority of the ex-agitators who are still relying on the monthly sixty-five thousand naira stipend which has become inconsequential under the present economic realities in the country. This mentality has also created a culture of indolence which should be discouraged”, the statement added.