World Press Briefing Held On This 20th Day of January 2024 over Dangerous Plot to Install An Urhobo Rtd Military General As New Niger Delta Presidential Amnesty Programme Coordinator.
1. While the 9th leadeship of the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) Worldwide will continue to consolidate and sustain the Ijaw struggle for self determination and resource control, we have it from credible sources that some individuals close to His Excellency, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, President Federal Republic of Nigeria is hatching dangerous plots to install an Urhobo Rtd. Military General as the Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) to succeed Ndiomu.
2. It is our assurance that the Ijaw Youth Council, representing all the Ijaw Youths in this world, will fight with everything that we have to resist this plot that the cabal in Aso Rock is plotting and hatching. It is our warning to those who are soreptituosly making such plan to urgently retrace their steps as we are going to use every available means to resist this from coming to the limelight.
3. However, while the IYC has its reservations on the Federal Government’s appointments with regards to Ijaw sons and daughters not being included in political appointments across the Niger Delta states as expected under President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, we are not going to seat down and watch when people are trying to further undermine and undo the Ijaw people.
4. It is a known fact under President Bola Ahmed Tinubu that the Federal Government has carefully wiped out Ijaw sons and daughters who have been heading ministries departments and agencies. They have done this in NNPCL by removing Engr Adokiye Tombomieye, Vice President, Upstream of the Nigeria National Petroleum Company Limited with the host of others. Today, no Ijaw son or daughter is holding any key office in the Nigerian Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDA’s). To us, this is not funny at all.
5. While the Ijaw people are grateful to President Bola Tinubu for appointing a highly distinguished and respected Ijaw leader, Sen. Heineken Lokpobiri as Minister of Petroleum (State), Federal Republic of Nigeria, we are also aware that the Ministry has been butchered to only Oil without Gas which was not the case in other administrations. It is the statutory right of Bayelsa State to have a minister but the Federal Government butchered the ministry, Limiting it to only Oil, if care is not taken, he might not be having the needed resources to perform to the expectations of his people and Nigeria at large.
6. The Federal Government of Nigeria, under late President Umaru Musa Yara’Adua established the Niger Delta Presidential Amnesty Programme in 2009 as a programme to quell the rising armed agitation in the Niger Delta region that is solely championed by the Ijaw people across the region. While there is no need for us to go into details on how Ijaws lost their lives and our communities and Kingdoms levelled to the ground which was a clear case of genocide, our people were massacred mercilessly and ruthlessly. While we do not want to remind ourselves of these painful memories, it is our advice that the Federal Government of Nigeria should allow sleeping dogs to lie.
7. However, while the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) Worldwide, the largest youth movement in the Niger Delta will continue to push for a united Nigeria and a peaceful Niger Delta region for which we will promote harmonious relationship with our neighbouring tribes in the region, we also cannot accept to be sacrificing with almost no harvest.
8. The Niger Delta Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) that was created to sustain the fragile peace in the region since 2009 is no doubt one of the reason why there is this level of peace in the region over the years because all the Niger Delta leaders are in tune with the ideals of the programme. Any attempt to change the status quo will no doubt cause chaos in the region.
9. The Amnesty Programme is too critical and sensitive to the Niger Delta people to be used to compensate friends politically. We know that President Bola Tinubu is a listening President hence he will not allow this impending doom to happen because it will surely be resisted by all means available to us as Ijaw people.
10. It is our collective resolve as Ijaw youths that those at the corridors of power should jettison whatever they are plotting. It is Ijaw that will continue to occupy that office because the Ijaws are the ones that solely championed the struggle that gave birth to the Niger Delta Presidential Amnesty Programme people are talking about today. It is still very fresh in our memories that at the heat of the agitation, other tribes were scared of associating with us for fear of being labelled as infidels.
11. We must, at this point, remind the Federal Government of Nigeria that the fragile peace in Niger Delta today was made possible by huge sacrifices of the Ijaw people via the Presidential Amnesty Programme. The government and some individuals in the system are making every effort to deliberately pitch the Ijaws against their sister tribes in the region. We are not ethnic bigots but we must continue to speak truth to power as IYC cannot allow few individuals to decide the fate of the Amnesty Programme as they have done to the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
12. As a Council, we have it from credible intelligent source that some forces around President Tinubu in Aso Rock are deliberately withholding funds allocated to the Amnesty Programme thus making it seem like the Coordinator cannot work to actualize the objectives of the programme hence the plot to bring in their kinsman into the office as coordinator.
13. Finally, with the way things are going, the Ijaw people are beginning to doubt the “Renewed Hope ” agenda of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu if the Ijaws are included in his mantra of “Renewed Hope”.
Amb. Binebai Yerin Princewill
Spokesman Ijaw Youth Council (IYC ) Worldwide.