A non-governmental organisation, the Ogoni Liberation Initiative, says despite bringing the Niger Delta struggle to limelight, Ogoni is yet to benefit from the amnesty programme.
The President, Douglas Fabeke, disclosed this during the launch of a publication, ‘The Niger Delta Focus Magazine’ in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
While noting that he was one of the consultants for the Niger Delta amnesty, Fabeke recalled that he wrote a proposal on how the scheme would be sustained in partnership with the Industrial Training Fund.
He further Explained that the purpose of the amnesty was to achieve peace in the region, he said the programme had become a sham because some politicians changed the direction for selfish reasons.
“I singlehandedly brought out 650 youths from the creeks. We wrote the proposal to march up with the Industrial Training Fund (ITF). But politicians changed the direction.
“They twisted it (amnesty) and till today, it did not work. The amnesty programme has become a sham,” he stated, saying the Ogoni people lost many of its prominent indigenes in the course of the struggle,” he added,
“After Isaac Adaka Boro of blessed memory, the second man they killed was Ogoni people (making a veiled reference to Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight of his kinsmen) who gave a name to the Niger Delta struggle. But Ogoni people have not benefited anything from the Niger Delta struggle,” Fabeke stated.
He wondered how peace could be achieved in the absence of job creation, pointing out that “The Niger Delta amnesty was supposed to give birth to industries.
“Some youths were sent to be trained for agriculture, to be trained for welding. If these youths are returning home, where are they going to work? So, it (amnesty) has not given us any result. It is a sham,” Fabeke insisted.
On the purpose of the magazine, Fabeke said it was to change the negative perception of the Niger Delta region, provide more opportunities and development that would help educate and enlighten the Ogoni people and Niger Delta as a whole.
“It is time for total freedom and one of the instruments that you will use is information. I didn’t dabble into Ogoni struggle just like that; we spent time studying what Ken Saro-Wiwa was doing.”