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In a statement released in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa state on Monday, leader of former militants from the Niger Delta region, have revealed that the the group have stuck a deal with the Presidential Amnesty Office.
Former Niger Delta militant leaders vowed to work with the Coordinator, Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), Gen. Paul Boroh (retd), to sustain the existing peace in the Niger Delta region.
According to The Nation, the leaders under the auspices of the Leadership Peace and Cultural Development Initiative (LPCDI), were said to have struck a peace deal when they visited Boroh at the Amnesty Office in Abuja.
The group in a statement in Yenagoa by its Bayelsa State Chairman, Mr. Bull Ifiemi and Public Relations Officer (PRO), Godgift Ayabowe, said during their visit of the amnesty office, they commended Boroh’s managerial skills and his leadership of PAP.
The ex-militant leaders declared total support for the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration and thanked him for entrusting the affairs of the amnesty programme on Boroh.
“We declared our total support for Boroh because of his effective and efficient management of the amnesty programme. We also pledged to support the President and the amnesty office to sustain the peace in the Niger Delta region”, the ex-militants said.
They particularly commended Buhari and Boroh for various empowerment and agricultural development programmes in the region and for the release of their monthly stipends.
They, however, pleaded with the Presidency to consider giving pipeline surveillance contracts to the youths in the region following their knowledge of Niger Delta terrains.
The ex-militant leaders said the contracts should not be given to persons, who had done little or nothing to improve the development of the region.
“We also appeal to the Presidency to allow the youths in oil-producing communities to become stakeholders in the proposed establishment of modular refineries. These youths will help to prevent any grievances that may occur in the region.
“We are sure that if youths are given the opportunity to be stakeholders in the modular refineries and the surveillance contracts, no youth will be involved in any form of restiveness”, they said.
The ex-militants regretted that in the past, the jobs were given to greedy persons, who selfishly enriched themselves at the detriment of the youths.
They advised that the surveillance contracts in the region should be channeled through the amnesty office following Boroh’s knowledge of leaders and youths on ground in the region.
According to them Boroh would carry everybody along to ensure adequate execution of the contracts.
“We further plead with the Presidency to prevail on federal agencies and parastatals especially the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and the Ministry of Niger Delta to involve the youths in their programmes and projects.
“We also urge the presidency to look into the stipends of the leaders. The leaders receive the same N65,000 monthly stipends as their boys. This is too small because leaders still take care of the responsibilities and welfare of their boys”, they said.