Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State says a coordinated approach of accurate data and statistics of communities in the Niger-Delta region is pivotal to resolve youth restiveness and enhance human capacity development.
Besides, Governor Obaseki said his administration is determined to curb youth restiveness and build their capacity through technical and vocational training, explaining that the state is anxious to calm the restiveness in the various communities.
Speaking while receiving the Special Adviser to the President on Niger-Delta Affairs and Coordinator, Presidential Amnesty Programme, Brig. Gen Paul Boroh, at the Government House, Tuesday, Governor Obaseki said, “We are anxious to ensure that we calm the restiveness in our different communities. Fortunately, we in Edo don’t discriminate. We have an all-encompassing programme that will accommodate everybody.
The Governor said the State Government is determined in its resolve to collaborate with the Presidential Amnesty Programme on Niger-Delta to achieve its purpose for the region.
According to Obaseki, “We will take special interest in the oil producing areas because of the neglect of the past. We will be very keen on working with you particularly on data and statistics for those communities, so that we can, working with your programme, pull the available resources together from the oil companies, donor agencies, the World Bank programme for a coordinated approach to the challenges, particularly human capacity development.”
Obaseki continued, “As you are also aware, our focus is shifting heavily towards technical and vocational training. We are working very hard to strengthen our technical colleges. This is an area we would like to cooperate with you.
“We want to assure you that we understand and appreciate the leadership role Edo is supposed to play or has traditionally played in the sub-region, and the role of this government is to re-enforce that and make sure that we continue to be the hub that brings the sub-region together.”
He further said, “Let me thank you immensely for this visit – because of the importance we place on this programme, I felt that we should meet with you no matter how brief, to appreciate you, to appreciate the work you are doing, and to also make you understand that it is something we are very cognizant of – a programme we are anxious to participate in, and make sure it succeeds.
“Even though there has been a lot of agitations in the sub-region in the Niger, Edo has been relatively peaceful, but over the weekend, there was an incident in Gelegele where a line was bombed and for us, that was not a good omen at all.”
Speaking earlier, the Special Adviser to the President on Niger-Delta and Coordinator, Presidential Amnesty Programme, Brig. Gen Paul Boroh said, “We are here from the presidential amnesty office as a continuation of the relationship we have with Edo State as one of our strategic partners towards ensuring stability in the Niger Delta Region and particularly to re-instate thirteen thousand ex-agitators that are captured in the programme.
“It is an ongoing programme that I took over in July last year – about thirteen thousand of the ex-agitators are left to be trained and empowered, but I am happy to say that Edo State is in partnership with us to train and empower one thousand ex-agitators from the ANCHOR borrowers’ initiative of the Central Bank”.
According to him, “I think it is a milestone towards the resolution of the conflict in the Niger-Delta because, if as many as one thousand persons are captured in terms of development in their skills and they are out of the creeks, it will encourage others who are still in the creeks to have hope that someday, they too will benefit from this gesture, which is one of the best alternatives to revamping our economy.
“This is the basic reason why we came around to say, first and foremost we appreciate you, we appreciate God Almighty as well, who has made it possible for you to be on this seat. It is a hot seat because Edo State is the centre and the hub of economic activities in the Niger Delta.
“From time to time, the presidential amnesty office will be coming here to meet with leaders of the ex-agitators, and we shall be informing you each time we want to come. We are doing that because it is one of the safest states in the Niger-Delta. This morning, we shall be empowering some of the ex-agitators in agriculture. That is the activity we are going to have today, and we feel it is respectful, it is proper that we meet with you.”