Ernest Chinwo in Port Harcourt
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike friday inaugurated the State Amnesty Programme and reiterated his warning that the state would not pay for arms surrendered by cultists and militants.
The governor said the inauguration of the committee was a major move to restore peace across all communities in the state.
The committee has as members, representatives of the Nigerian Armed Forces, the Nigerian Police and the Department of State Services. The Special Adviser to the Governor on Amnesty, Sir Ken Chinda was appointed chairman.
In his inauguration speech, Wike charged the committee to interface with different cult groups for the purpose of retrieving arms from them.
The governor also charged the committee to work out modalities for ensuring the proper integration of cultists and militants who willingly subscribe to the amnesty programme.
He warned the committee members against promising repentant cultists and militants that the state government would pay for arms surrendered in the course of the programme.
He declared: “Anyone who has surrendered his arms and has followed through the process laid out for the amnesty will be pardoned. Such a person will not be prosecuted.
“This committee has 60 days to complete its assignment. After the 60 days, any cultist or militant who fails to subscribe to the amnesty programme will face the full weight of the law.”
The governor reiterated that the amnesty programme was not politically motivated, pointing out that it was designed to promote the security of all communities in the state.
Responding on behalf of the committee members, Chairman of the Committee, Mr. Ken Chinda, assured the governor that members of the committee would work in line with the terms of reference outlined.