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Fresh group of militants pressure FG for amnesty

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Several militants involved in violent activities in Arepo, Lagos, Bayelsa, Akwa Ibom, Cross Rivers and Delta State are making efforts to submit their arms and ammunition to the Federal Government.

The Federal Government is battling the vandals at Arepo, Lagos, through a Joint Military Task Force codenamed Operation Awase.

The Special Adviser to the President on the Niger Delta and Coordinator, Presidential Amnesty Programme, Brig. Gen. Paul Boroh, (retd), said during a press briefing in Abuja on Wednesday, that while those willing to disarm at Arepo were 1,500, the figure  from the other states might in the same category.

He said that some of the contact people to the militants in the other states in the South South had been linking up with the office on the issue of disarmament.

Boroh said that he had plans to write the Presidency for permission to receive the arms and ammunition from the wiling militants because it was in the interest of the country to ensure that such dangerous weapons were taken away from them.

According to him, some of the militants intending to disarm were displaced from Bakassi while others who were armed in other states were willing to lay down the dangerous weapons.

Boroh said that several militants were opting to disarm because of the success recorded by the Amnesty Programme.

He commended the President for his commitment to peace and stability on the Niger Delta by sustaining the Programme.

He said, “Since my appointment, I have come up with pragmatic steps towards ensuring stability in the Niger Delta region.

“For example, I am making a letter to the appropriate higher authorities to allow for disarmament at Arepo, Lagos; there are also some elements that want to do the same in Delta, Bayelsa, Akwaibom, Cross Rivers and others.

“Some of those persons were displaced from Bakassi, some were armed and ready to disarm as well. It is more so because the Amnesty Programme is succeeding. Also, it is in the interest of the country that more people are disarming.

“A total 1,500 to disarm are to disarm at Arepo. The figure is huge and frightening. In Delta, I am not too sure of the exact number; verification has to be made. But there is a point of contact with them. It is also the same in the other areas.”

“We must appreciate the President for the sustenance its of this Programme.”

Boroh stated also that the Amnesty Office had ensured the training of 17,000 put of the 30,000 ex-militants listed under the Programme from 2009 to August 2015.

He said that 3232 of the ex-militants would have been disengaged from the Amnesty Programme by the first quarter of 2016.

He said that the office had to come up with an exit strategy of empowering the trained delegates with starter packages to erase the impression that the government would pay the N65, 000 stipends forever.

He added that some of the ex-agitators would be pulled out of the Programme every quarter of the year,

Boroh who called on the Ministry of Works, the Niger Delta Development Commission, the Ministry of Environment and other government bodies to play their role of developing the region, said that a change in the name of the office would necessary.

 

Credit: Punch

 

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