JTF ex-chief urges dialogue on Niger Delta crisis

FILE: A Niger Delta militant PHOTO: AFP

FILE: A Niger Delta militant PHOTO: AFP

Group urges govt to empower deported Edo youths

Former Commander of the Joint Task Force (JTF) in the Niger Delta, Major General Charles Omoregie, yesterday called on the Niger Delta militants to embrace peace by bending to genuine dialogue.

Omoregie made the demand in Benin City, when he received final year students of the Department of Local Government Administration of the University of Benin.

“The avengers and other groups should come to the round table and dialogue with the government by telling them what their problems are. And the government on its part should look into these grievances and find solutions to them,’’ he advised.

Omoregie said he would not subscribe to the removal of military personnel from the crisis-torn areas. He urged the military to hold fast to their defensive positions, until end of the dialogue period.

Calling for caution in the course of agitations, the erstwhile commander advised that every citizen should know that all parts of the country deserve government attention whether in the north or the south.

Chairman of the students body, Frank Ikponmwosa who presented a merit award to the security chief on behalf of the association, said the students were attracted by Omoregie’s antecedents and the good job he is doing with the state neighbourhood watch which has guaranteed peace and security in the state.

Meanwhile, a group, Initiative for Youth Awareness on Migrating, Immigration, Development and Re-integration, (IYAMIDR), has urged the Federal Government to urgently empower deported Edo youths, through agriculture, or face its wrath.

The group’s president, Okoduwa Solomon, who made the call yesterday in Benin City, appealed for agricultural support to boost youths productivity across the state.

As part of the measures to integrate and empower the unemployed, he called for mobilisation of youths and provision of farm implements, including tractors, fertilizers, sprayers milling machine and motorised harvesters to enable them function optimally.

Okoduwa alleged that Edo youths have been neglected by the Federal Government in its agricultural programmes and policies, saying, It’s over four years we were duly trained by the state government’ noting that ‘recommendations made in that regard to ensure their empowerment have not been implemented.

He appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to intervene, by compelling the Minister of Agriculture, Audu Ogbe to urgently empower them.

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