Tension hits Niger Delta as Aso Rock hawks reportedly move to terminate amnesty programme

AUSTIN OYIBODE, EDITOR

President of Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) worldwide, Barrister Pereotubo Oweilaemi, has alleged that there are clandestine moves by power players in the presidency to abruptly terminate the presidential amnesty programme for repentant Ex-militants in the Niger Delta.

In a statement made available to Emeraldng.com, Barrister Oweilaemi said the move, if eventually materializes by the enemies of peace, will be viewed as ethnophobic propensity against the present administration and the people of the Niger Delta.

Parts of the statement read: “In case the plotters of the evil coup fail to know, the amnesty programme is a mutual agreement between the federal government of Nigeria and the Niger Delta people. The bargain was for the agitators to lay down their arms to accept the offer of presidential amnesty which outlined terms and conditions to be complied with by both parties.

“The amnesty programme is a well thought out developmental programme of the then government of late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua with different segments. The programme was phased into three segments which are: Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration for the first segment; Rehabilitation for the second segment while Strategic Implementation Work Plan (SIWP) for the third segment.

“Granted that the first segment has successfully been carried out. However, we are still at the second segment which is the rehabilitation process. Engaging the youths on vocational trainings or sending them to school as well as the empowerment programmes are all part of the rehabilitation processes.

“There is no time limit as to when the programme will be terminated especially when all the segments have not been executed. The third phase has not been attended to which is strictly for the massive development of the region. None of the developmental master plans initiated in the programme has been implemented.”

The IYC president alleged that N1.5trillion coastal highway awarded by late President Yar’Adua in 2009 has not been executed, adding that the East West road has been abandoned by the present administration of President Buhari. He said the massive development agreement with the federal government has not been done.

He said the agitators did not accept the amnesty offer simply because they agreed to be paid N56,000 for a period of time, just as he demanded the federal government to check the archives for the records.

He explained that: “The first meeting between the top echelons of the Niger Delta freedom fighters and late president Umaru Musa Yar’Adua which had heralded the smooth kick off of the amnesty programme, the agitators tabled their demands to Yar’Adua who beat his chest that he would not disappoint the Niger Delta people.

“The government has not fulfilled its own part of the bargain since the boys have laid down their arms for oil to flow freely into the nation’s coffer. Terminating the amnesty programme without fulfilling the conditions stated therein is a breach of trust and agreement and it cannot go scot free without being visited with dire consequences.

“Niger Delta crisis is a global issue. This was the reason why the agitators had earlier insisted that they wanted UN representatives to witness the truce. People should not pursue personal ambition to endanger the corporate existence of Nigeria. We hope that Niger Delta people will not be blamed for any breakdown of law and order. Let us be wary of our actions. Less we will jeopardize our corporate coexistence.”

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