The Ogoni Youth Federation (OYF) has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to appoint an Ogoni son as the coordinator of the Niger Delta Presidential Amnesty Programme, PAP.
The group also congratulated Col. Milland Dixion Dikio (rtd) on his appointment as Interim Coordinator of the Amnesty Programme.
It, however, insisted that the next substantive Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme must come from Ogoni Nation.
OYF in a statement by its President-General, Yamaabana Legborsi noted that since the inception of the programme, no Ogoni son/daughter have been appointed as the PAP Coordinator in spite of the role Ogoni played in the struggle for justice for the people of Niger Delta.
The OYF described as “an act of injustice” the appointment of only Ijaws as Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme since its inception in 2009 to date.
It explained that the Ogoni Nation has paid the supreme price in the struggle of Justice for the entire Niger Delta region, adding that if there is no political interference in the choice of the PAP director, Ogoniland parades an array of some of the best hands in the military and other specialize discipline, that can effectively occupy the office of the Coordinator of Presidential Amnesty Programme.
Yamaabana said the Federal Republic of Nigeria has not only refused to pay Ogoni people oil royalties and mining rents amounting to an estimated 20 billion US dollars for petroleum mined from its soil for over fifty years, but it has also failed to give attention to the course of Justice for Ogoni people yet has continued to marginalize the Ogoni Nationality and treat her like a second fiddle amongst other ethnic groups in the Niger Delta.
He said appointing an Ogoni as the Coordinator of PAP will serve in the interest of justice, give Ogoni people a sense of belonging and help in obliterating the blot on the nation’s conscience and prove that the current government shared in the pain of the Ogoni people.
“OYF believes that the process of national healing and reconciliation in Nigeria will not be complete until Ogoni people are been treated fairly.
“The appointment of another Ijaw is unacceptable to Ogoni people and we are using this medium to send a strong note of appeal to the Muhammadu Buhari-led administration to set in motion the process of appointing an Ogoni as the next PAP Coordinator in the interest of peace, equity and justice. Our peaceful disposition should not be misconstrued for weakness”