6,000 Niger Deltans Risk Delisting In Foreign Varsities | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Metro, Niger Delta, Region

6,000 Niger Deltans Risk Delisting In Foreign Varsities

Posted: Jul 6, 2015 at 12:00 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Igoniko Oduma Yenagoa

Over 6,000 Niger Delta students on Federal Government scholarship in universities abroad are on the verge of being delisted by the managements of their schools owing to alleged Federal Government’s failure to pay their fees.

President of the Ijaw Youth Council Worldwide, Udengs Eradiri, disclosed this at a news conference in Yenagoa on Tuesday, saying that the plight of the students, majority of whom he said are of Ijaw extraction was a serious threat to the students, the Ijaw nation and the country as a whole. He appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari and other well-meaning Nigerians to intervene and save the students.

According to him, the predicament of the students was also compounded by the vacuum in the Presidential Amnesty Programme office had no administrator, noting that the situation had resulted in bureaucratic bottlenecks.

He urged President Buhari to appoint an administrator for the programme or do whatever he could with “the executive powers he wields to ensure that somebody begins to take responsibility in that office.”

Eradiri said he had been under intense pressure, even as he had tried to maintain the peace in the region because stipends to ex-agitators had not been paid since April.

He Ijaw leaders had been appealing for calm and for the youths not to take to the streets, or go back to the creeks and that they been begging the youths to give President Buhari an opportunity to run government and show commitment.

He said, “I want to use this opportunity to call on the Niger Delta leaders, well-meaning Nigerians and President Muhammadu Buhari to the fact that the vacuum in the presidential amnesty programme is as a result of the change in leadership.

“It has began to tell on the lives of our young ones that are undergoing university training as a result of the amnesty programme in various countries – America, United Kingdom, London, South Africa and other African countries where we have young Nigerians.

“These young Nigerians who are undergoing education and training scattered round the world, because of the bureaucratic nature of the programme, the funding which used to be month by month have not been coming.

“For two months now, the students have not been paid; the financial obligations to the institutions have not been met and so we have the shocking news that some of the institutions have started delisting some of the students studying there.

“As for the United Kingdom, we know that rents are paid monthly and when the stipends are paid, these students also pay their rent. As I speak to you a lot of them now are being thrown out of their accommodation; they are all on the streets.”

Eradiri said the matter had got to a breaking point where they could no longer hold the youths back because “we have been doing that with just the word of mouth and the goodwill we enjoy as leaders.

“But when government fails to do their own part, then very unfortunately, we will not be able to maintain the peace”.