EXTEND AMNESTY TO NON MILITANTS, IJAW MOTHERS URGE FG
The President of Ijaw Mothers Union (IMU), Mrs. Doris McDaniels, has urged the Federal Government to extend the amnesty programme to youths of the Niger Delta who are not involved in militancy. Mrs McDaniels, a House of Representatives aspirant on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), made the call in a chat with reporters in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
She said the inclusion of non-militant but jobless youths in the programme would help to drastically curb violence and other anti- social acts in the region.
'So far, amnesty is progressing and a success. My only grouse with it is that no provision was made for youths who were not militants. It is as if the militants are the only ones being taken care of. I think the programme should be for all and not for some.
'It should be for youths in the Niger Delta coastal region. I say this because no matter how enterprising a youth is here, he has limitations. No land to farm, no water to fish on because it has been polluted by spills.
'The ordinary youths who are not catered for in the amnesty programme should not be made to see militancy as the only way to gain attention.'
Mrs. Mc Daniels, who is also the President of Bread Cross Alliance, committed to the development of the Niger Delta States, also urged 'massive reclamation of land' in the region.
'There should be massive reclamation of lands where houses are in short supply. Land is major problem in the riverine parts of the region. So, reclamation of land for people to find place to build on should be given urgent action.'
Also, the House of Representatives aspirant for Okirika/Ogu/Bolo Federal Constituency appealed to 'those inventing violence in the region to give President Goodluck Jonathan a chance to rebuild the Niger Delta.'
'We want a president that we can hold responsible. We want peace in the region. I appeal to ex-militants, beating retreat on the amnesty to reconsider their views and embrace peace.'
However, she advised against extra-judicial killings in the region, saying the military Joint Task Force (JTF) should strive to gain the confidence of youths of the region.