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Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta and Coordinator, Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), Professor Charles Dokubo, has tasked Niger Delta youths to put on thinking caps and initiate life-changing ideas through the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) to improve on their lives, communities and environment.
Dokubo spoke in Abuja, when he received a document, The Ijaw Youth Development Strategy and Action Plan 2019—2023: 9 Goals to Transform Ourselves and Our Future, a strategic document produced by the Ijaw Youth Consultative Forum (IYCF), which proffers a nine-goal development action plan to be achieved within four years.
He promised to create a platform for collaboration and exploration of the ideas and plans in the development plan and urged youth of Niger Delta to initiate and proffer responsive ideas, plans, programmes and solutions to better their lives through the instrumentality of the Federal Government’s Amnesty Programme.
“It is interesting for me to listen to this conversation. It is good for young men and women of my area to sit down and do something good like this. I’m also happy in the sense that this is different from what we are used to. It is not crying for no payment of stipends or calling for removal of Charles Dokubo. The fact is that as people of Niger Delta, it is now we’ve realized what we need, and also what we can make use of within the ambit of this programme has been provided to us.”
Dokubo admonished them to always go beyond viewing the Presidential Amnesty Programme and other similar special purpose agencies of the Federal Government as mere monthly stipend paying bodies instead of authorities that they should always constructively engage with development ideas and plans that would impact on their lives, families, communities and the nation.
“There is no part of this country that has more agencies than the Niger Delta. No part of this country has a Ministry attached to that place. It is not about all these things. It is about the fact that have not really been using them effectively. My position has always been: we talk about amnesty, amnesty, amnesty. Amnesty will end. And if it ends, what are we going to tell our people? What has it done for them? No government in this world can sustain this thing forever. The earlier we make use of this vehicle that has been provided for us, the better”.
He maintained that his administration would, henceforth, focus on job placement following aggressive pursuit of education, skill acquisition and empowerment for Niger Delta youth and directed Head of Reintegration, Amnesty Office, Chief Brown Aroloyeteim to liaise with IYCF for greater impact.
Earlier, IYCF Executive Director, Mr. Tonte Ibraye, said group was formed and registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission to work for the development of Ijaw nation to the benefit its youth. He noted that IYCF’s strategic action plan aligns with both Federal Government’s policies and United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The Development Strategy and Action Plan covers peace and security, education, health, environment, empowerment, job creation, agriculture, industrialization and skill acquisition even as IYCF requested the establishment of an Ijaw Parliamentary Caucus and a platform to contribute to the National Council on Niger Delta, a contribution that the Amnesty Coordinator agreed could be harnessed in a critical sector like health.