Published On: Sun, Sep 3rd, 2017

AMNESTY BOSS TASKS IJAW PROFESSIONALS ON CONSTRUCTIVE ENGAGEMENT;…INVITES IPA TO MAKE INPUT IN NIGER DELTA STRATEGIC WORK-PLAN

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Presidential Amnesty Programme

August 22, 2017

Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta and Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, Brigadier General Paul Boroh (Rtd) has tasked members of the Ijaw Professionals Association (IPA) to makevaluable inputs in the development of the Niger Delta region, saying that the doors of the Amnesty Office are open to all well meaning individuals to make their useful contributions towards the successful implementation of the ongoing reintegration phase of the Presidential Amnesty programme.

Delivering a Keynote address on the theme; “Social Inclusion, A Strategy for Peaceful Co-existence” at a one day seminar organized by the IPA, held at the Muson Center, Marina Lagos on Sunday, General Boroh reiterated the need for inclusiveness in the development of the Niger Delta region, informing that the focus of the Presidential Amnesty Programme is to develop the capacity of the youths to be able to participate effectively in the socio-economic development of the region.

According to him, the Amnesty Office in collaboration with Ministry of Niger Delta, Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, among others, has developed a draft strategic work plan to fast track holistic development in the region, stressing the need for stakeholders’ input in the document which is ready for preview.

Gen. Boroh, who nominated the moderator of the seminar, Dr. Austin Tam George to be part of his team to make inputs into the draft strategic work plan for the region, emphasized the role of the organized private sector in the development of the region, noting that sustainable development requires constructive inputs from both the public and private sectors, including the civil society, just as he stressed the need for partnership in building human and institutional capacities in the Niger Delta region.

He said the Amnesty Office has trained hundreds of delegates on agriculture because of its potential of providing jobs for the teaming unemployed youths in the region, adding that the new thinking of the present administration is to focus on agriculture and solid mineral as possible alternatives to oil and gas, saying that the Amnesty Office would also explore information and communication technology (ICT) as another fertile ground for job creation among the youths in the region. On Ogoni cleanup, the Amnesty boss maintained that the exercise will start in Ogoni land and eventually extend to other parts of the region, noting that the Amnesty Office was also concerned about the elderly in the region, who were impacted one way or the other during the period of conflicts in the region. In his remark, Rear Admiral Festus Porbini (Rtd) urged the youths in the region to give peace a chance to foster meaning engagement and socio-economic development, pointing out that violence on the part of the youths has caused the relocation of many companies that operated in the region.

Earlier, President of IPA, Elaye Otrofanowei, said “IPA seeks to bring an intellectual lens that seeks to position the Ijaw people on an equal footing with other regions by creating a platform to identify and build capacity by acting as a resource base for the promotion of Ijaw interests in the broader Nigerian landscape”. He lamented that “access to basic infrastructure is still a struggle thereby stunting growth and creating an army of unemployed and unemployable youths in our region. Social and Economic infrastructure is lacking, Economic opportunities are lacking thereby on all frontiers and economic indices of progress we fallen short”.

The IPA President further reiterated that the Ijaw nation and its people have continued to find their place and status in the framework of Nigeria and this has led to deadly clashes and distrust in the national and ethnic polity, which continues to shape Nigeria, pointing out that “the struggle for inclusion both socially, economically and politically, continues to be a contentious issue as the struggles of old continue to hunt the Niger Delta and the Ijaw nation as a whole”. Also contributing to the discussion, the moderator of the programme and former commissioner for information in Rivers state, Dr. Austin Tam George, stressed the need for the development of formidable social network among the Ijaws as a way of increasing social capital, adding that the use and availability of internet through development of smart communities in parts of the region, will enhance social inclusion among the Ijaws.

Also present at the event were Chairman, Board of Trustees, IPA, Maj.Gen. Alaowei Toun, Head, Legal department, Amnesty Office, Barr. Prince Alabo, Head, Media & Communication, Amnesty Office, Mr Owei Lakenfa, Head, Peace building, Amnesty Office, Mr  Molege Tam, Bar Biriyai Dambo, Moderator of Ijaw Nation Internet Forum, Mr Ben Okoro,Mrs Ebiere Helen Fumudoh, Ken Etete, Ms Oberuomo Clark, among others. High point of the event was the presentation of IPA plague to Gen. Boroh and others.

Facts Compile/Written By Gbaboyor Jude & Piriye Kiyaramo

For Head, Media and Communication Department

August 21th, 2017

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  1. Gospel24 August 2017 at 03:29Reply
  2. That’s awesome

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