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Cablegate: Tom Polo Supports Nonviolence Youth Training In

VZCZCXRO0673
RR RUEHMA RUEHPA
DE RUEHOS #0632 2611505
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 181505Z SEP 07
FM AMCONSUL LAGOS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 9413
INFO RUEHZK/ECOWAS COLLECTIVE
RUEHUJA/AMEMBASSY ABUJA 9189
RUEHNY/AMEMBASSY OSLO 0123
RUFOADA/JAC MOLESWORTH AFB UK
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC
RHMCSUU/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHINGTON DC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS LAGOS 000632

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED - HANDLE ACCORDINGLY
SIPDIS

STATE FOR AF/W, INR/AA, DS/IP/AF, DS/ICI/PII, DS/DSS/OSAC
OSLO FOR HELENA SCHRADER
DOE FOR GPERSON, CAROLYN GAY
TREASURY FOR ASEVERENS, SRENENDER, DFIELDS
COMMERCE FOR KBURRESS
STATE PASS USTR FOR ASST USTR FLISER
STATE PASS TRANSPORTATION FOR MARAD
STATE PASS OPIC FOR ZHAN AND MSTUCKART
STATE PASS TDA FOR NCABOT
STATE PASS EXIM FOR JRICHTER
STATE PASS USAID FOR GWEYNAND AND SLAWAETZ

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL ASEC NI
SUBJECT: TOM POLO SUPPORTS NONVIOLENCE YOUTH TRAINING IN
DELTA STATE

REF: A. LAGOS 502
B. LAGOS 594

1. (SBU) Sheriff Mulade, President of the Gbaramatu Youth
Council (GYC), told Poloff approximately 200 youths from
Gbaramatu and Ijaw Kingdoms in Delta state attended a
non-violence sensitization program September 10-14.
Presenters at the Riverine Host Community Youth Orientation
Program were largely from the Ijaw tribe, but also included
Deborah Etteh, an Itsekiri leader in the Coastal Women Forum
and other riverine minority members. Mulade said many of the
participating youths either attended the University of Delta
State or the University of Owerri. Additionally, Delta
State-based militant leader Tom Polo sent "some of his boys"
as delegates to attend the program and was so supportive of
the event that he provided it 11 security guards.

2. (SBU) Mulade reasoned it was important to reduce youth
restiveness in the Niger Delta in order to attract employment
opportunities to the state. This type of nonviolence
training would pave the way for anticipated Delta State Oil
Producing Areas Development Commission (DESOPADEC) (Ref A)
projects. By early September DESOPADEC was "making
administrative arrangements" and Mulade thought it would be
fully operational by March 2008. Mulade posited the
Commission would need a well-defined strategy to operate
fully. While DESOPADEC has not yet funded a development
project, Mulade was hopeful it would meet immediate needs
such as providing scholarships and education, and seek to
improve youths' confidence in government so that the region
could attract employment opportunities. Mulade named
infrastructure, road construction, and building developments
to be long-term needs.

3. (SBU) Mulade is a founding member of the Niger Delta
Orientation Project (NDOP), which organized the nonviolence
training program in conjunction with U.K.-based Processing
Consultant Group (PCG). The program borrowed heavily from
the Foundation for Ethnic Harmony in Nigeria's (FEHN) use of
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s nonviolence philosophy. (Note:
Mulade attended and served as a trainer for FEHN (Ref B),
which teaches youths the principles of nonviolence and to
respect human life. End Note.)
MCCONNELL

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