A few years ago, the Niger Delta people with a proclivity for peaceful engagement, formulated and birthed the amnesty plan: a plan which allows the ex-agitators to surrender their weapons and accept the amnesty from the Federal Government (FG) in exchange for non-prosecution and a plan reintegration.
This was seemingly impossible given the hard and insincere nature of the FG in the past. However, a few good individuals in the government and in the youth leadership had secured a commitment from the Vice President – our own son, and the man with impeccable record as a true and honest Nigeria, President Musa Yar’Adua. Thus, the final proclamation and implementation of the presidential Amnesty Programme.
The programme itself got to its glory and peak in excellence under the leadership of Hon. Kingsley Kuku, a veteran of the minority’s people’s rights and a former spokesman of the vocal Ijaw Youth Council (IYC).
It’s reported that the success of this home grown demobilization and reintegration programme remains one of the wonders of the African continent. The many commendations from across the globe give credence to its true success.
However, what many have not been able to reconcile with is the abysmal failure and little success, recorded under his succeeding successors.
Study has shown that while the last two czars of the programme were academically qualified and of ijaw stock, what was conspicuously missing in their personalities that has deprived them from great success, is the undisputed fact that they are not of the ijaw struggle platform in any remote or near sense.
While Kuku has always been with the Ijaw society from his youthful student days to his formative days for leadership, both Professor Dokubo and Rtd General Paul Boroh, though true sons of the Ijaw, yet aliens to the Ijaw struggle and her ways in many respects. The reality of this is that not only are they ignorant of the cardinal objectives of their people, it also deprived them the needed knowledge of the diverse leadership strata within the core struggle platforms and their mannerisms. This is a big gap which alienated them from benefiting from these demagogues and (is) clientele followers whose actions and words crystallize massive solidarity within the region and beyond. This was essentially the missing link that distinguished Hon. Dr kingsley Kuku among other enabling characteristics.
The amnesty has continued to remain in the public courts in recent times for very many negative developments: From poor performance to fraud and irresponsive management to outright fleecing of its work funds. Today, as the government begins its plan to make another appointment to fill the vacuum that will be created upon the exit of the present occupant in the person Prof Charles Dokubo, it’s imperative to look at the man who is fit and proper to change the negative narrative emanating from a once glorious and applauded agency of the FG.
High Chief Dr mike Ekayama Loyibo has been a man whose passion for the success of Ijaw remained unquestionable.
Born fifty years ago to the Royal Family of Chief Loyibo in Tuomo town in Burutu Local Government Area of Delta State, Chief Dr Mike Loyibo from his early days exhibited such starling qualities of sound and productive leadership.
As a student he was among the vocal few in the Ambrose Ali University, Ekpoma. His activities as a positive mobilizer and unifier made the Izon Ibe student union to rally around him and elect him as the National president of the organization.
It’s recorded that he gave selfless leadership and handed over a more vibrant and united union.
Outside the university, High Chief Mike has remained a motivator and force for the actualization of the cardinal principles and objectives of the Ijaw youths and the minority tribe of the Niger Delta area. Although, he ventured into partisan politics, but is known more for his proficient communication of love and solace to the downtrodden in his locality.
He remained a silent but known force that continues to enforce the ideals of the Niger Delta people in all ramifications. Among many feats accorded to High Chief Loyibo, it’s recorded that this youthful man was instrumental to the employment of over six hundred Ijaws and non-Ijaws into federal agencies and private companies. This was done without soliciting for any gratification. This is excluding the various personal scholarships that Chief Mike Loyibo has been awarding to qualified and economically disadvantaged students within the province.
Today, it’s no longer news that he has played critical roles in the sustenance of relative peace in a district known for its volatility through his many peace intervention initiatives with other like minds.
Respected by both old and young, High Chief Loyibo can easily be described as a bridge between the various age grades and the many ethnic nations within the region given his peaceful and trust worthy ambassadorial efforts that have culminated in great unity among the minority people of the lower Niger.
High Chief Mike has remained a strong voice and an ardent vocal voice in the peaceful engagement of the present government to take full advantage of our position and assist the government to achieve its lofty policies under the Mohammed Buhari leadership.
The appointment of Chief Mike Loyibo to take charge of one of the very critical agencies that connects the oil rich people will not only douse the tension but give hope to the hopeless people that indeed a new dawn has come that is reminiscent of the days of KUKU’S GLORY IN THE AMNESTY OFFICE.
A great philanthropist and successful businessman who has continued to endear himself to the ordinary people with his deeds that have brought light and succour to many families within the county, High Chief Mike Loyibo has earned for himself such acceptance that dwarfs many youthful leaders before him in this generation .
Sound, educated, experienced and open minded traits that will occasion massive success when given the opportunity to give leadership to the Presidential Amnesty programme.
Like Kuku, he is youthful energetic accessible and a product of our aged-long struggles and above all embraced by all segments of the ethnic struggle platforms. This is indeed the necessary ingredients that birthed success in the Amnesty office. Traits that were completely absent in all the succeeding managers after Hon Kingsley Kuku.
It’s the writer’s opinion that given the critical nature of this section and the ever volatile and suspicious relationship between the predominant Ijaw and the FG, who are the flag bearers of the emancipation struggle, it’s an inevitable imperative to engage the services of this high profile influencer, to take charge of the amnesty office, to stimulate confidence and result-oriented leadership that will bring an end to the issues of hostilities and pipeline destruction, given his rich pedigree and vast community relations, but bay far the greatest his appointment will surely put the present APC leadership in good books that may perhaps persuade the people to change her sentiments in 2023.
It’s also submitted that Delta State has never produced any of the various heads of this strategic office. Thus, his appointment will obviously balance the record.
High Chief Mike Loyibo is indeed a round peg that will suitably fill the round hole of the Amnesty office and give it colour that it has yearned for in recent times.
Izon-Tubo Oweilakemefa writes from the creek of Lalagbene.