By Ndu Samuel
Leadership of the Ijaw Peoples Development Initiative IPDP has said that any attempt by the federal government to appoint northerners as Chairman and members of board of the Presidential Amnesty Program (PAP) will be met with stiff resistance.
The group made the disclosure through a release signed by its National President Comr. Austin Ozobo, a copy of which was obtained by The Liberator Newspaper recently.
Ozobo in the release, described the appointment of Northerners as members of PAP as ”unscrupulous, barbaric, unpopular and provocative and warned President Muhammadu Buhari not to bite off more than he can chew”
He said such move by the President clearly indicates ”display of hatred and envy for Niger Delta region and the Niger Delta amnesty programme, but advised him to ”stop playing politics with the Niger Delta amnesty programme.”
The statement reads in part ”We want to state unequivocally that the appointment of Hausa/Fulani as interim chairman and members of the presidential amnesty programme is an affront and a slap on the face of Ijaw nation.
”Buhari Government is turning irresponsible. Though, we are not fret, neither panicking on the barbaric appointment because we are equal to the task. Buhari’s decision to appoint Fulani/Hausa into the amnesty programme is unceremonious ,inimical and capable of threatening the existing peace in the Niger Delta region.
”There has been sustainable peace in the region because of the amnesty programme. We can’t be cowed. We reject every attempt to impose leadership for us in the presidential Amnesty programme. ”
”We want to state again that the Amnesty programme is not meant for Hausa/Fulani caliphate, and they can’t represent us in any capacity in the amnesty programme. We will reject it with our blood as we make bold to reject the interim amnesty committee headed by the Hausa/Fulani Gambaris.”
“The presidential Amnesty programme is for the Ijaws and few other beneficiaries in the southern Nigeria and not for Hausa/Fulani hegemony.
”It is our appeal that Buhari should avoid anything that will make the creek to boil again, and that Nigerians should hold Buhari responsibile for any breakdown of law and order in Niger Delta region.
”Buhari ,you have no moral right to appoint Hausa/Fulani in the amnesty programme when you have not appointed an Ijaw man or any Southerner as coordinator in the Northeast development board.
”Mr. President ,you are provoking the creek warlords to return to the creek and I want to state that Nigeria will loose more in such situations.
”The region produced the national cake and it should not be taken for granted. Try and sustain the existing peace because the country can’t survive another oil war.
”We are surprise that you are playing politics with the Niger Delta amnesty programme which was created with the blood of Niger Delta agitators. It is appalling that you are acting as a sectional president and we are disappointed.”
”It is our demand that a new Ijaw coordinator of the amnesty programme be appointed without further delay to avoid any breakdown of law and order.” IPDI stated.