Sunday, 21 January 2018

News Release: Appointments Into The Office Of The Special Adviser To The President On Niger Delta & Chairman, Presidential Amnesty Programme

Notice has been brought to the Joint Revolutionary Council, an alliance of key agitating groups in the Niger Delta of the intention of more than 4315 former combatants of the Niger Delta struggle to renege on the terms of the Presidential Amnesty Programme and return to full scale armed struggle.

If this happens, the relative peace enjoyed across the Niger Delta and the reported increase in daily barrels of oil produced in the region may come to an end for a long time.

Their grudge, as it seems, bothers on the continued appointment of ill equipped and ill prepared retired military officers to run the affairs of the Office of the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta and Chairman, Presidential Amnesty Programme.

The Central Leadership Command of the Joint Revolutionary Council believes that yet again, this represents a renewed attempt by unpopular, disgruntled and divisive politicians from the Niger Delta who have never supported the Amnesty Programme to hijack the Programme and undermine a legacy of the agitating people of the Niger Delta.

These ‘sudden benefit captors’, who have no love for our people, enjoy little love from us.

Therefore any attempt by them to use Office of the Special Adviser on the Niger Delta (and Chairman, Presidential Amnesty Programme) to play their unpopular politics, as they tried to do with the issue of Maritime University, Okerenkoko will be firmly and vehemently resisted by combatant units scattered across the length and breadth of the Niger Delta.

We call on the President of the Nigerian state to immediately reject recommendations from such divisive, and unpopular politicians and then commence a new and transparent process for the recruitment of a competent and experienced hand as Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta.

If you seek peace in the Niger Delta, it must be worked for. We will never be cowed by the intentions of the ungodly. We have worked hard to keep the peace. Nothing stops us at this moment from breaking everything into pieces.

We reject the antics of these failed, disgruntled and unpopular politicians and we declare that we will never be part of any engagement that includes them. It will never happen.

We also condemn, in full terms, the intentions by certain elements in the Presidency to replace an inept retired Army General Boroh, with another retired Naval General, Emmanuel Ofik.

The Amnesty Programme is not a parade ground where retired military officers can be quickly conscripted to command former combatants of the Niger Delta struggle.

We believe that any such appointment will be a grave miscalculation and a recipe for Crisis, Failure, Chaos and Anarchy especially as the journey to an election year begins.

For the past two years, billions of naira has been spent on the Amnesty Programme with nothing to show for it. Not even fresh ideas.

For more than two good years, the Buhari government has done nothing new in the Niger Delta largely because those who represent the Niger Delta in the cabinet do not have what it takes to represent either our interests or us.

The Office of the Special Adviser to the President should not be seen as a Compensation Center for former military officers with shortchanged careers.

The Office of the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta should not also be used to compensate friends of failed and unpopular political leaders in the Niger Delta.

The Office of a Special Adviser requires someone who has deep knowledge of the Niger Delta and deep love for its people.

It requires Superior and Exceptional understanding of the challenges that face the people of the Niger Delta today.

It requires people with an ability find real time solutions to real issues.

We therefore call on the President of the Nigerian State, General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd) to begin series of strong engagement across the Niger Delta with a view to selecting and recruiting capable, and tested trusted hands who will be acceptable to our people, useful to the Presidency and capable of making new friends for the President in the region.

The journey to a peaceful Niger Delta begins with a few good steps.

We believe that this is one.

Cynthia Whyte,
Joint Revolutionary Council

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