SA to the President on Niger Delta and Chairman of the Presidential Amnesty Office, Hon. Kingsley Kuku
Ndubuisi Francis â€¨in Abujaâ€¨
Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta and Chairman of the Presidential Amnesty Office, Hon. Kingsley Kuku, yesterday named a five-member team to work with the Inter-Agency Task Force (ITF) set up by the Chief of Defence Staff on proper reconciliation of the disarmament records of the 3,642 ex-militants recently approved for the third and final phase of the Amnesty programme by President Goodluck Jonathan.
The team includes Dr. Ferdinand Ikwang (DDR Specialist), Lt. Col. Charles Ogomanya (military), Superintendent Miebaka Iyotoro (Police), Mr. Kayode Soyinka (SSS), and Mr. Filate Akpodiya.
Kuku, who unveiled the five-man team when the Inter-Agency Task Force led by Air Vice Marshal James Gbum paid him a courtesy visit in Abuja, said once the ITF commences its duties, “I shall determine if more persons from the (Amnesty) office will be deployed to work with the team.”
He stated that the five-man team was expected to put up in their very best conduct while discharging “this very sensitive duty.”
“You cannot afford to be less than professional and thorough at all times. I shall not hesitate to withdraw and seek maximum punishment for any member of this team from the Amnesty Office who decides to waiver or compromise in any way while serving with this Task Force. All eyes are on you and failure is not an option at all. I pledge the full cooperation of the Presidential Amnesty Office and wish all team members well,” he said.
Kuku noted that following the approval of President Jonathan for the inclusion of an additional 3,642 formerly armed youths in the Niger Delta in the Presidential Amnesty Programme, to constitute the third and final phase, the Inter-Agency Task Force (ITF) to carry out a proper reconciliation of the disarmament records of the ex-agitators and effect a thorough documentation of the persons that truly surrendered arms to military formations (especially the Joint Military Task Force, JTF) or other security agencies in the states in the Niger Delta, was set up.
“I am also delighted that sequel to the request of the Amnesty Office, the Chief of Defence Staff has graciously nominated you (AVM Gbum) to head this Inter-agency Task Force.
“My dear AVM, this very important task force will, among other things, thoroughly verify claims by the JTF and other security agencies in the Niger Delta that the ex-agitators seeking to benefit from this presidential approval actually surrendered arms to them.
“ The Inter-agency Task force shall further recover these surrendered arms and ammunitions with a view to moving them to the headquarters of the 82 Division of Nigerian Army in Enugu for destruction (or demolition) as spelt out in the extant United Nation’s DDR (Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration) rules, “ he said.