Thursday, December 25, 2014

Ex-Militants Seek Review of Amnesty Program  for Niger Delta
Written by Ann Godwin, Port Harcourt
Nigerian Guardian

FORMER militants under the aegis of Niger Delta Peoples Democratic Front (NDPDF) have faulted the Federal Government Amnesty Programme and called for its review.

Leader of the group, Precious Iyoyo, said in Port Harcourt that the programme has failed to address the major issues that led to the agitation in Niger Delta region.

He regretted that the Federal Government wasted billions of naira in training some of the repentant Niger Delta warlords abroad without providing jobs for them at the end of the training, a situation that poses greater threat to the society.

Iyoyo reasoned that government should have invested the money in building industries that would have created job opportunities for the teeming unemployed youths in the region and reduce restiveness than the peripheral training it gave them.

He said, “This is a clarion call on the Federal and State governments to take a second look at the way and manner the amnesty programme is presently structured. Reason has been that the programme has not yielded the desired result of creating manpower and employment for the teeming youths of the Niger Delta, by empowering and stemming the sufferings and frustration of the youths of Niger Delta as promised by Federal Government in 2009.”

 “It is frustrating that, the ex-freedom fighters that have been trained, on their return, have no jobs to fall back upon after training. This, in all sense, is abnormal.” he stated.

The ex- militant said, reviewing the amnesty programme to accommodate the agitators was necessary in order to address issues of marginalization, joblessness and frustration.

 He noted that politicians planning to cause mayhem in the forthcoming general elections are now using some of the youths.

He urged government at all levels to create jobs through people-oriented policies and programmes.

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