Prominent ex-militant leaders from the nine states of the Niger Delta region have given reasons for the concern expressed over the December 2015 termination date set by the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari for the Amnesty Programme, saying such date is not feasible.
The ex-militant leaders, under the aegis of Leadership, Peace and Cultural Development Initiative (LPCDI), said though the performance of the special adviser to the President on Niger Delta Affairs and chairman, Presidential Amnesty Programme, Brig. Gen. Paul Boroh is so far commendable, the timeline proposed is not feasible due to lingering issues of non-payment of outstanding allowances and unfulfilled promises by the federal government.
A statement at the end of the group’s meeting, signed by its national president, Gen. Reuben Wilson, known along the Creeks as General Pastor, said before the federal government can decide on a termination date for the Amnesty Programme, it should consider the immediate release of the required funds for the payment of outstanding tuition fees of Amnesty students in institutions of higher learning and training centres both home and abroad.
The group said, “The federal government should release the allocations to the Presidential Amnesty Office in order to pay the beneficiaries their monthly stipends on time. The Presidential Amnesty Programme should be extended beyond December 2015 as earlier envisaged as expiry date.
The incentives promised the Ex-Generals and leaders of the various militant camps by the late President Yar’Adua in form of lifeline, security, accommodation and mobility should be fulfilled with immediate effect.”
“The federal government should pay, with immediate effect, the three months outstanding payments for the Pipeline Surveillance contract awarded to the ex-agitators by the immediate past administration. The federal government should also reconsider its termination of the Pipeline Surveillance contract and re-award same to the ex-agitators for proper and effective security of the pipelines.
“The federal government should expand the Presidential Amnesty Programme to include the Niger Delta youths in the creeks who are presently not included in the Presidential Amnesty Programme.”
The ex-militant leaders, however, re-affirmed their confidence in the competent and pragmatic leadership of Brig. Gen. Boroh (rtd).