A former militant leader, Ambassador Kingsley Muturu, has urged the Federal Government not to terminate the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP).
He urged the Federal Government to relocate oil facilities out of the Niger Delta region should it go ahead to implement the proposal to terminate the PAP by the end of this year.
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Speaking in his capacity as the Chairman, Amnesty Phase 11 in Delta State, Muturu said the ex-militants’ opposition to the planned termination was based on the fact that the federal government must have been wrongly advised on the proposal considering the negative consequences it might have on the peace so far being enjoyed in the region.
According to him, “the ideal of peace and development of the Niger Delta for which late President Musa Umar Yar’Adua laudably offered and implemented the Amnesty programme remain far from being achieved.
“With the groundswell of anger in the land, we wish to serve notice that we cannot guarantee the safety of oil installations in the Niger Delta should the federal government go ahead to implement this proposal.
“Accordingly, before terminating the PAP, we advise the federal government to relocate all oil facilities from the Niger Delta to another safer haven.
“This advice is intended to avert consequences of military deployment by the federal government which unfortunately believes more in thrust of physical force to spill blood of innocent people of the oil-bearing communities in the Niger Delta.
“Instead of leveraging on relative peace in the Niger Delta from leadership interventions for development and reintegration of ex-militants with jobs.
He alleged that the amnesty programme suffered declining fortunes under General Paul Boroh who was arm-twisted by agents of the federal government to the detriment of Niger Deltans.
Muturu further alleged that politicians and bad advisers were preventing Boroh from meeting with leaders of the militants for which the programme was designed.
Meanwhile, Ijaw youths from nine states of the Niger Delta region yesterday rose in defence of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari and the Chairman of the Presidential Amnesty Implantation Committee Brigadier General Paul Boroh dismissing allegations of shoddy implementation of the presidential amnesty programme.
The Ijaw youths, who are members of Serving and Leading Without Bitterness (SLWB), in a statement signed by Nature Keighe, Paulinus Albany and Teke Iyala, said the funding and implementation is paying off with the existing peace in the region.
According them, though the criticism of the present administration and Boroh was due to the alleged fraudulent attitude of some officials of the amnesty office, implementation of the programme in the region under the Buhari administration is on course.
They, however, warned that despite the performance of the administration, cases, such as the alleged short changing and depriving qualified beneficiaries, will throw spanner in the wheel of progress of the Amnesty Implementation Committee.
The statement read in part: “The fragile peace being enjoyed in the region is due to the fulfilment of the promises made by President Buhari and the doggedness of the Amnesty Implementation Committee, headed by Boroh to use our scarce resources to execute training, post-training and educational advancement since the administration started funding the programme. But when some persons at the helm of authority starts playing to the gallery for immediate gains, it may scuttle the good works of President Buhari in the Amnesty office and Niger Delta region and plunge it into another round of pandemonium if immediate steps are not taken.”