On Friday 21 September 2012, Professor Gus John will join representatives of the Federal Government of Nigeria for the public presentation of REMAKING THE NIGER DELTA – Challenges & Opportunities by the Honourable Kingsley Kuku, Special Adviser to the President on the Niger Delta and Chairman of the Presidential Amnesty Programme.
Prof John who has worked on conflict resolution and youth development in the Niger Delta since 2004 collaborated with Kuku in the production of the book.
The book tells the story of 50 years of neglect, exploitation, oil industry and state repression and pays tribute to the martyrs of freedom movements such as Isaac Adaka Boro and Ken Saro-Wiwa. It celebrates the now three year old Amnesty Programme initiated by the late President Umaru Musa Yar’ Adua in 2009 in a courageous effort to save Nigeria from economic meltdown.
A Development Manual, the book underlines the critical importance of the Niger Delta to the development of Nigeria and especially to the capacity of the Federation to provide meaningful employment for its youth by ending its over dependence on oil and gas and diversifying the economy while the oil lasts.
A former member of the Ijaw Youth Movement himself, the Honourable Kingsley Kuku calls upon all of Nigeria to address the just demands of the Niger Delta oil producing communities and ensure that the conditions that gave rise to the armed conflict within those communities are tackled systematically while there is a window of opportunity. This historic opportunity was created by the cessation of armed conflict as a result of the 2009 Amnesty Declaration.
The book warns key stakeholders and especially the oil and gas companies, the Federal Government, State Governments in the Niger Delta and parastatal organisations not to take that peace for granted but to work assiduously to ensure that the 26,000 ex-militants who laid down their arms and embraced the Amnesty are meaningfully reintegrated into the oil producing communities, trained and developed to levels that enable them to gain meaningful employment within the oil and gas industry and in the economy in the Niger Delta and Nigeria more generally.
His Excellency President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan will be Special Guest of Honour at the launch and His Excellency Architect Namadi Sambo, Vice President, will be the Chief Presenter. Professor Gus John and Professor Godini G Darah of Delta State University will give an appraisal of the book and highlight the master plan the book presents for Remaking the Niger Delta.
The invitation only launch will take place at Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos.
Photo credits (homepage):
“The Niger delta often shows fairytale-like scener” by 300td.org (Flickr – CC BY 2.0)