On the third anniversary of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, the Special Assistant to the president on Niger Delta, Kingsley Kuku, has called on the private sector, Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to partner the federal government on the re-integration of ex-militants to their communities.
Mr. Kuku who was speaking at a news conference in Abuja on Monday, said the community based re-integration will help facilitate post-conflict trauma of the former agitators.
He also said the amnesty programme has faced distractions from thousands of youths in the Niger Delta region who have continued to agitate for their inclusion in the Presidential Amnesty Programme.
The Presidential Amnesty Programme was created by the Federal Government on the 25th of July 2009, to ensure the return of peace in the Niger Delta during the dispensation of late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua.
The terms of the Amnesty include the willingness and readiness of militants to surrender their arms, unconditionally renounce militancy and sign an undertaking to this effect.
In return, the government pledged its commitment to institute programs to assist their disarmament, demobilization, rehabilitation and provision of reintegration assistance to the militants.
Meanwhile, the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has described the Amnesty as one of the most ingenious and successful innovations that tackled the persistent crises in the region and a clear test of the success of the party’s progammes.
Reflecting on the three years of the programme, the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Chief Olisa Metuh said the decision of the PDP led government under late President Yar’ Adua to declare the amnesty and the strong resolve of Present Jonathan to implement the programme to the letter, has not only restored peace to the region but reinvigorated the economic base of the nation.
Recounting the achievement of the amnesty, the party stated that, “earlier this year, 18 ex-militants were decorated with private pilot licenses upon graduating from a Flight Training School in South Africa. Also, those of them with entrepreneurial skills are being encouraged by the government and the oil corporations operating in the region.”
The party also commended the governors of the Niger Delta region for providing the enabling environment for the rehabilitation of the ex-militants as it applaud efforts of the ex-militants in ending the siege in the region.