The National Committee of Yoruba Youths on Thursday urged the President-elect, Muhammadu Buhari, to continue with the amnesty programme for ex-militants in the Niger Delta Region.
This was contained in a statement issued by the President of the group, Oladimeji Odeyemi, in Ibadan.
The statement said calls for the discontinuation of the programme were unfortunate.
Mr. Odeyemi said dozens of youth from the region had been transformed through the amnesty programme and were doing well in the society.
Mr. Odeyemi urged Mr. Buhari to sustain the tempo of the Presidential Amnesty Programme and continue with its funding to avoid another youth restiveness.
According to him, with the successful implementation of the amnesty programme, Nigeria’s crude oil production hovers between 2.2 million barrels and 2.4million barrels per day.
“We call on the incoming administration to sustain the tempo of the Presidential Amnesty Programme and continue with its funding.
“The outgoing Presidential Amnesty Programme Chairman and Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta Affairs, Kingsley Kuku, and his team have turned the amnesty programme into a model to evaluate performance and service delivery.
“The amnesty programme in just four years has succeeded in training both locally and offshore, about 20,000 youths out of the 30,000 beneficiaries enlisted in the scheme,’’ he said.
Mr. Odeyemi said the feat had produced trained manpower to provide services in the oil and gas, power, maritime, agro-allied and the aviation industries in the country.
“As at today, almost 20,000 of these beneficiaries are in various institutions abroad while significant numbers are schooling in some of our best private universities in the country.
“When these youths are fortified with skills, the Niger Delta and, indeed, Nigeria will not depend on crude oil alone as its source of income,’’ Mr. Odeyemi said.
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