The Ijaw Youth Councils have once again reiterated calls for the Federal Government to adequately fund the Niger Delta Presidential Amnesty program.
The call is made through a statement signed by the Spokesman of the umbrella body of Ijaw youths, the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) worldwide which noted that the current funding pattern of the Amnesty program may jeopardize the gains already recorded by the Program if left unattended to.
The statement reads in part) “the National Executive Committee of the IYC has been inundated by many complaints from delegates of the Presidential Amnesty Program over the nonpayment of the stipends and other benefits promised them as part of the Amnesty program. And we the IYC as a responsible Ethnic organization and a critical stakeholder in the peace and development of the Niger Delta and Nigeria cannot fold our hands or remain quiet while threats of the erosion of the gains recorded by the Amnesty Program over the years loom large due to avoidable issues like inadequate funding. Inadequate funding of the Amnesty Program is an obvious threat to peace and development in Niger Delta and particular and Nigeria in general.l
“We have been receiving many calls from University students sponsored by the Amnesty program across the country complaining about the nonpayment of the stipends for their upkeep for over three months now.”
“While we have appealed to the Stidents and other delegates of the Amnesty Program to exercise some patience with the newly appointed SA Prof Charles Dokubo led Amnesty office which is still trying to get its feet, we want to once more call on the Federal government to release all funds due to the Amnesty Program to the office so that it can work properly to revent avoidable disturbances to the Peace in the Niger Delta.”
While we are confident that the peace loving Niger Delta youths we have appealed to would maintain peace , situations like the nonpayment of Stipends and the seeming stagnancy of the entire Amnesty Program for sometime now could be seized by some elements to cause problems that would have far-reaching implications on the peace, stability and economic viability of Nigeria.
So it is in the interest of the Nigerian state to ensure the success of the Amnesty Program at all times because of the clear link between the program and the economy of this country.”