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Published On: Mon, Feb 18th, 2013

Group Frowns at FG Special Attention on Niger Delta Ex-Militants

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President Goodluck Jonathan

Group under the aegis of Coalition for Non-Violent Niger-Delta Youths has condemned the style being adopted by federal government towards creating peace in the Niger Delta region by concentrating on training and spending lavishly on ex-militants, while peace loving indigenes of the region are left to languish in abject poverty and denied the right to training.
A press statement made available to Urhobotoday signed by Dan Sagay, Uwejeyan Israel and Obule Israel, who are President, Secretary General and Public Relations Officer of Non-Violent Niger-Delta Youths respectively, tasks government at all levels, their related agencies and parastatals for not having plans, vision or programs for Niger Delta youths who have not professed militancy, stressing that the norm at which to attract government patronage is to be violent.
“Kill a couple of people and issue more threats and you will be called and given a
contract or political office,” the statement observed, just as it queried if it is a sin to be a non-violent youth?
The statement alleged that the government in attempt to pacify the ex-militant set up interventionist agencies like the Niger Delta Development Commission, Ministry of the Niger-Delta and the federal amnesty program which gave out juicy contracts as well oil wells to ex-militants, adding that this strategy of the Federal Government cannot buy peace because peace must be entrench as the way of life of the people.
“A true revolution of values will soon cause us to question the fairness and justice of many of our past and present policies. A true revolution of values will soon look uneasy on the glaring contrast of poverty and wealth, between non-violent and violent youths in the Niger-Delta region,” the statement argued.
“The worst lies to tell are the one you convince yourself to believe. We all know militants in the Niger-Delta region are not up to the number being brandished by the Amnesty office. We also know that every youth in this region suffer the same economic pain and live in the same stagnated and devastated environment.
“The essence of an overall development in all ramifications cannot be over-emphasized in a holistic approach that will shower the dividends of democracy on everybody, whether militants or non-militants. The present patronage of violent, criminals and unruly youths in the Niger-Delta will only encourage and enhance more criminality,” the statement stressed, adding that they have resisted violence and would not be forced into criminality, but would follow the admonition of Howard Zinn which says, “ there is power that can be created out of pent up indignation, courage and the inspiration of a common cause and that if people put their mind and bodies into that cause, they shall win.’’

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