Ex-Militants Seek Overhaul of Amnesty Programme

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Emmanuel Addeh

Former militant leaders from nine oil producing states saturday asked President Muhammadu Buhari to overhaul the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) after the suspension of Prof. Charles Dokubo as Coordinator of the programme.

The former warlords commended the president and the National Security Adviser (NSA), Major-General Babagana Monguno for promptly suspending Dokubo, urging them to restructure the amnesty office for more efficiency.

Coming under the aegis of the Leadership, Peace and Cultural Development Initiative (LPCDI), the ex-militants pledged their support for any initiative that would uplift the people of the Niger Delta.

They made the call in a statement by LCPDI’s President, Clifford Reuben saturday, calling for a meeting with the NSA and other relevant agencies on the way forward for the interventionist programme

He said: “Let us assure you of our total support on the success of the amnesty. It also means that we can bring an end to all acrimony surrounding fictitious groups and criminal elements that are always dragging the programme backward for selfish gains.

“As it stands now, nobody can handle the programme without involving the critical stakeholders who understood the programme from the onset,” the statement said.

The statement said now the president “has finally listened to the voice of reason and put a stop to the threat against the existing peace in the region, we thank God that those days when amnesty office and the budgeted funds meant for ex-militants were diverted are over.

“By involving ex-militant leaders who were in the Niger Delta struggle and understand the problems of the youths of the region, we assure Mr President that the inefficiencies within the system will be a thing of the past.

“Lastly, it is germane that the new amnesty office should be presided over by those that will not rubbish the achievement recorded by the President Buhari administration in the Niger Delta. We are ready to work and give the committee all necessary assistance.”