Governor Douye Diri of Bayelsa State has revealed that capacity building through Information and Communication Technology, ICT, remains a veritable avenue to changing the narrative of the agitations and struggle for the betterment of the Ijaw people.
Gov Diri made the revelation in Yenagoa while speaking at the weekend during the commencement of the second batch of a free ICT skills acquisition training programme.
DAILY POST learnt that the programme tagged, “Project 301 ICT Serving Ijaw Youths,” was initiated by the national spokesman of the Ijaw Youths Council (IYC), Comrade Ebilade Ekerefe.
Diri, who commended the positive contribution of ICT to the capacity development of the Ijaw Youths Congress, IYC, avowed that the body has evolved into a stronger voice for the Ijaw nation.
Gov Diri, represented by the former Speaker of the Bayelsa State House of Assembly, Tonye Isenah, said: “In the past when some of us started seeing certain things, we weren’t comfortable with the group anymore. IYC was meant, specifically, for struggle, but at some point, it was hijacked.”
He commended the IYC initiative of training youths on ICT, describing it as a replica of the present administration’s efforts at ensuring a peaceful and crime-free society in the state through youth empowerment and training.
Also speaking, the interim administrator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, PAP, Maj Gen Barry Tariye Ndiomu (retd) commended the Ijaw youth group for embarking on a non-violent effort to change the narrative of the Niger Delta struggle through youth empowerment.
Ndiomu, represented by Alaowei Opukeme Jonah, said the ICT training programme is a systematic way of creating manpower.
Earlier, the initiator of the ICT training programme and the national spokesman of the IYC, Ebilade Ekerefe, commended the Bayelsa State governor, Douye Diri, and the interim administrator of PAP, Gen Ndiomu (retd) for the desired partnership provided for him to train over 80 Ijaw youths and provide them with computer laptops.
Ekerefe assured that the IYC will also embark on scouting for opportunities in the private sector and multinational companies to integrate those trained into an employment scheme.
“This is a clear paradigm shift from what the Ijaw Council used to be; and to other institutions of government [and] multinational companies, I think there is no better time than now for them to do projects like this. They are the ones carrying exploration activities in this region.”
He said further: “It will be good if they [government and multinationals] can support so we can train more youths. Clearly, you have seen that the IYC is gradually moving into productive engagement(s) which has to do with the human capital of our youth.”