:Some ethnic nationalities in the Niger Delta have kicked against the appointment of Retired Brigadier General Peter Boroh as the Niger Delta Amnesty Chairman, saying the appointment was a confirmation that the Ijaws own the Niger Delta region.
According to a statement signed by one Comr. Joseph Tenumah on behalf of the Itsekiri, the appointment was unacceptable. Tenumah alleged that ” it is on record that from 1996 till date, the Itsekiri people especially my kids and kins of Ugborodo have not only contributed to the internationlisation of the Niger Delta struggle but have in our own small measure played our role when the need arises,” wondering why it was not considered in the latest appointment.
He said, ”The appointment of retired Brigadier General Peter Boroh is not only a reconfirmation of the long held view that the Niger Delta is only for the Ijaws while the other ethnic nationalities that constitute the region are seen and treated as second class citizens.
”We have over twenty-five ethnic nationalities that constitutes the Niger Delta region and who have in one way or the other contributed meaningfully to the Niger Delta struggle and self determination dream of the region, in all these, when it comes to the sharing the dividends of the struggle they are usually hijacked by only the Ijaws and in most cases every other ethnic nationalities are seen as mere followers, this should not be if justice, fairness and equity as contained in the Nigerian constitution are anything to go by.
”It is on record that from 1996 till date the Itsekiri people especially my kids and kins of Ugborodo have not only contributed to the internationlisation of the Niger Delta struggle but have in our own small measure played our role when the need arises.
”I believe very strongly that the appointment of the respected army general from the Ijaw extraction is another bitter-pill that our people cannot swallow at this time.
I do not have a personal grudges or issues with the retired army general but the appointing authority ought to know that there exist several other ethnic nationalities in the Niger Delta and that the Niger Delta is not synonymous with the Ijaws alone.
He recalled that, ”it is on record that the first chairman of the Amnesty programm Mr. Timi Alaibi is an ijaw from Bayelsa State, the outgone chairman, Mr. Kingsley Kuku is an Ijaw from Ondo State while the incoming chairman is another Ijaw from Bayelsa State. What a funny scenario?
”In the light of the above, we strongly reject this appointment and request that an emergency stakeholders meeting be convened to chat the way forward.”
But on the contrary, Prince Monday Whiskey, former Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the Chairman of DESOPADEC, has applauded the Buhar’s government over the latest appointment, saying Boroh was a welcome development. He said it was a clear indication that President Buhari was a listening President.
In a statement he personally signed, Whiskey said ” the appointment of the retired army general has also shown that our President, General Muhammadu Buhari is a listening leader whose policies and programme should be supported to reposition our great country.
According to the former SA Media, the appointment of retired Brigadier General Peter Boroh is not only a welcome development but also a big relief to the entire Niger Delta region and especially all genuine ex-agitator.
He said, ”I strongly advice the new appointee to see his appointment as a call to duty and to urgently remedy an almost bad situation, he must be firm, fair and show greater commitment by ensuring that equity returns to the programme and ensure that those who merited the benefit of the programme are carried along.
”The appointment of the retired army general has also shown that our President, General Muhammadu Buhari is a listening leader whose policies and programme should be supported to reposition our great country.
”I sincerely commend all ex-agitators for not allowing the situation to degenerate even at the peak of pressure and open intimidation from several quarters, the leadership of the Urhobo Youth Assembly (UYA), the leadership of the Ijaw Youth Congress (IYC) and other patriotic ethnic pressure group across the Niger Delta must be commended for standing up to be counted at the crucial stage of our national survival.
”The new amnesty boss must urgently settle down and ensure that those beneficiary who were wrongly send to Nigeria because of lack of payment from the amnesty office are immediately returned back to their respective institution of learning.
”Finally, there is an urgent need for the amnesty boss to convene an urgent critical stakeholders meeting to chat a way forward for geniune ex-agitators who were deliberately schemed out by the power that be by the immediate past administration of the amnesty programme.”