Do Not Truncate Amnesty Programme, Niger Delta Youths Warns
Niger Delta Youths have warned against the planned action to terminate the Presidential Amnesty Programme initiated by the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua administration, warning that it will orchestrate the return of hostilities and crisis in the oil rich region.
The youths under the aegis of Ijaw Youth Council (IYC), made this known in a press statement issued by its worldwide President, Pereotubo Oweilaemi, Esq., disclosing that, the Federal Government has not fulfilled its own part of the bargain since the agitators laid down their arms for oil to flow freely into the nation’s coffers and terminating the Amnesty Programme without fulfilling the conditions promised by Government is a breach of trust and agreement.
The statement sent to ASABAMETRO, is reads below.
We have been reliably informed that there are clandestine moves by power players within the corridor of power at the Presidency to abruptly terminate the Presidential Amnesty Programme. The move, if materialised by the enemies of peace, will be viewed as ethnophobic propensity of the present Government against the Niger Delta people.
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 is for the agitators to lay down their arms to accept the offer of Presidential Amnesty which has hitherto outlined terms and conditions to be complied with by both sides.
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 people 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 not been implemented.
Where is the N1.5trn Coastal Highway already awarded before Yar’Adua’s unfortunate death in 2009? What about the East West Road which is now abandoned by this present Government? What about the Federal Government, Multinational Oil Companies and Private Sectors tripartite agreement to massively develop the riverine communities which was duly incorporated in the Amnesty offer?
The agitators did not accept the Amnesty offer simply because they agreed to be paid N56,000 for a period of time. May we remind those in Government to check their records? 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 will not disappoint the Niger Delta people. All terms and conditions discussed in that meeting were documented by the Federal Government and they formed part of the Amnesty Programme.
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 dare consequences.
The world is watching us. Niger Delta crisis is a global issue. This was the reason why the agitators had earlier insisted that they want 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.