From Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
Youth leaders from the Niger Delta region have thrown their weight behind the ongoing reforms in the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) under the Interim Administrator, Col. Milland Dixon Dikio (retd).
The leaders in a letter addressed to Dikio, said they were particularly happy that he resisted the pressure to pay desperate and evil contractors for unverified projects.
The letter, which was signed by their coordinator and former Spokesman, the Ijaw Youths Council (IYC), Jeremaiah Owoupele, disclosed that Dikio endeared himself to stakeholders in the Niger Delta when he took his time to tour the region and engage critical stakeholders of the programme.
According to him, Dikio’s strength of character manifested when he did not yield to pressures to pay contractors who did imaginary jobs and whose stock in trade is to find willing allies in defrauding the people and depriving them the opportunity of getting the benefits of the agitation for the development of the Niger Delta.
Owoupele told Dikio that they were aware of plans by profiteers of anti-people’s policies in the region to frustrate his plans and continued with their business as usual, but urged him not to compromise his ideals.
The letter reads in part: “We are also aware that those, who profiteer in anti-people’s policies and actions, have sworn to undercut your time in office for the simple fact that you have resolved not to compromise your ideals and allow them to perpetually plunder our common wealth.
“Please be assured that God, the omnipresent is with thee. We the good people, the development loving people of Ijaw land are all behind you as long as you adhere to this strict code of ensuring that the narrative of our people is positively changed.
“As we go forward, our council and all other good people will begin to liaise with you at intervals to evaluate your progress and constructively criticize, while also providing alternative paths and solutions where necessary. Ours is to play the part of a watchdog with a view to ensuring that you right the wrongs committed under your predecessors.
“As a former spokesman of the IYC, I encourage you to liaise with the council leaders at all times as this will significantly aid you in your quest to succeed where others failed and put your people behind you at all times.
“They will guide, assist and also raise their concerns when you stray. This is the beauty of having them with you as previously shown by the leadership of Kingsley Kuku. This is one of the reasons why we achieved so much under his stewardship of the Presidential Amnesty Programme”.