Ex-militant leaders from all three phases under the presidential amnesty programme have lauded President Mohammadu Buhari for the approval of the establishment of the Maritime University at Okerenkoko in Delta state.
The militants also added that the president’s effort and show of concern for the amnesty programme was commendable, even as they commended the sizable amount of N65billion budgetary allocation to the amnesty office.
They, however, implored the federal government to award the surveillance contracts to the leaders of ex-militants, who know the terrain and creeks very well as this will help to reduce any form of pipeline vandalism.
They also argued that given the surveillance contract to them will enable them engage the boys and locals in the region as they have vast knowledge of their various territories
The group made their position known during a meeting with the amnesty team led by the Chairman of the Presidential Amnesty Program, Brig. Gen. Paul Boroh, to strategise on the way forward for the beneficiaries of the scheme.
The ex-militants also passed a vote of confidence on President Mohammadu Buhari and Paul Boroh on their land mark effort to bring even development to the Niger Delta region.
They furthermore mentioned the far reaching peace advocacy efforts of the vice president, Prof. Yemi Osibanjo, adding that it was yielding positive result in ensuring the youths are engaged.
The group noted that his efforts and tour around the region have contributed to the current peace being enjoyed in the region.
The group commended Brig. Gen. Paul Boroh for his continuous peace campaign and result oriented negotiations, adding that they were confident that the Paul Boroh’s led administration has brought about obvious development in the region particularly with the various agricultural development programmes being carried out.
“During his tenure, many more youths have been empowered with various skill acquisitions and vocational trainings; there is much more peaceful co-existence among the powers of the region.
“More efforts have been placed on engaging the youths and making them more relevant, there have been coordinated efforts to ensuring the people are being carried along.”
The leaders, however, took the opportunity to plead with the federal government to release enough funds for the amnesty office to enable them pay off all stipends from October up to December 2017.