Amnesty Office Disowns Protesters, Rejects Allegation of Partisanship

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Ndubuisi Francis in Abuja

The Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) has disowned a group which staged a protest at the National Assembly, Abuja wednesday under the auspices of ex-militants.

The Amnesty Office, in a statement issued by its Head, Media, Mr. Owei Lakemfa, said the protesters’ claim of being ex-agitators was flawed as available records did not show them as part of the 30,000 beneficiaries.

“They claimed to be ex-agitators from the Niger Delta who dropped arms in 2011, but have not been paid stipends. From our records, this group is not part of the 30,000 beneficiaries captured in the Presidential Amnesty Programme, and the Office has no powers to include them in the programme.

“However, they will be captured in the projects of the New Vision for the Niger Delta Programme scheduled to be launched within 12 weeks,” the statement added.

In a related development, the Amnesty Office said its attention had been drawn to claims in some media that it has a preponderance of persons from some political parties.

The statement said: “We have also been informed that a protest is planned against the programme demanding that youths from a particular political party should be included in the programme and its reach out activities aimed at youths from impacted communities.”

It added that the programme is a security exercise that has no political affiliations.