Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson, has inaugurated members of the newly established Centre for Youth Development at the state banquet hall in Yenagoa.
The Governor, during the inauguration, tasked the Chairman and other members with the duty of formulating programmes aimed at training and retraining Bayelsa youths on various skills which will help in keeping the youths off the streets.
The newly inaugurated Chairman of the Bayelsa Centre for Youth Development, Ekibabowei Victor Ben, who is an ex Niger Delta agitator popularly known as “Boy Loaf” while appreciating the Governor for the opportunity to serve, assured people of Bayelsa that the youth centre would replicate the methods used by the Federal Amnesty Programme and he was sure this would produce much result.
Also, in a related development, the newly inaugurated President of the Ijaw Youth Council, Udengs Eradiri, and other members of his cabinet were presented to Governor Dickson by the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta Affairs, Kinsley Kuku.
While presenting the IYC executives, Mr. Kuku applauded Governor Dickson’s commitment to furthering the cause of Ijaw people.
The IYC President, Udengs Eradiri, who also praised the stance of the Governor on issues that bother on the progress of the Ijaws said that the National Conference and the 2015 re-election of President Goodluck Jonathan were the foremost priorities of the IYC.
The Governor charged the IYC to work towards achieving more unity amongst the Ijaws, especially the youths.
A faction of former Niger Delta militant group on Tuesday issued a one month ultimatum to the presidency to release unpaid allowances to them or risk another bout of crisis in the region.
Addressing the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta Affairs, Mr. Kingsley Kuku, leaders of the ex-militants in Ughelli demanded that funds be released to members of the various camps, who are yet to recieve payment.
The group said the leader’s entrepreneurship training is yet to be implemented and that some members were sent for training, by the amnesty office, without duly notifying the leaders of the camps.
Two of the group’s leaders, Owonama Edward and Charles Akatakpo while speaking with journalists in the state, disclosed that they observed irregularities in the payment procedure as some members had not been paid.
“We have been experiencing a situation where some of the boys will receive their salaries in a particular month and have their names omitted the next month. We are insisting that the pending allowances should be paid,” they said.
They stressed that all the leaders should be carried along in all plans and procedures, adding that, “we the leaders are being treated like nuisance by the amnesty office; why? They should work towards the implementation of the leaders’ entrepreneurship training.”
The presidency had in January stated that the amnesty programme granted to ex-militants will not continue despite the agitation by several groups springing up in the region demanding to be accommodated in the programme.
The Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta Affairs, Kingsley Kuku has called for a continuation of dialogue with members of the Boko Haram sect despite the declaration of a State of Emergency in three northern states.
Mr Kuku said this while addressing past and present leaders of the National Association of Nigerians Students.
Recently, President Jonathan said the growing insecurity in Adamawa, Yobe and Borno states had compelled him to declare a state of emergence, exercising his powers as enshrined in Section 305 Subsection 1 of the Nigerian Constitution.
Mr Kuku has now said that the amnesty committee must succeed for peace to return to the country.
At the event, several NANS members criticised the Federal Government’s decision to offer amnesty to the insurgents despite the killings by the group.
The National President of NANS, Yinka Gbadebo said that the militants had killed several students whilst rejecting modern education.
However, Kuku explained that the nation must give peace a chance especially through the amnesty committee.