Flashback: Yar’adua’s Proclamation of Amnesty for Niger Delta Militants in 2009 (Full text)

Pursuant to Section 175 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Whereas the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria acknowledges that the challenges of the Niger Delta arose mainly from the inadequacies of previous attempts at meeting the yearnings and aspiration of the people, and have set in motion machinery for the sustainable development of the Niger Delta States;

Whereas certain elements of the Niger Delta populace have resorted to unlawful means of agitation for the development of the region including militancy thereby threatening peace, security, order and good governance and jeopardising the economy of the nation;

Whereas the Government realises that many of the militants are able-bodied youths whose energies could be harnessed for the development of the Niger Delta and the nation at large; Whereas the Government desires that all persons who have directly or indirectly participated in militancy in the Niger Delta should return to respect constituted authority; and
Whereas many persons who had so engaged in militancy now desire to apply for and obtain amnesty and pardon.

NOW THEREFORE, I, Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, after due consultation with the council of States and in exercise of the powers conferred upon me by the provisions of Section 175 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, make the following proclamation: I hereby grant amnesty and unconditional pardon to all persons who have directly or indirectly participated in the commission of offences associated with militant activities in the Niger Delta;

The pardon shall take effect upon the surrender and handing over of all equipment, weapons, arms and ammunition and execution of the renunciation of Militancy Forms specified in the schedule hereto, by the affected persons at the nearest collection centre established for the purpose of Government in each of the Niger Delta States;

The unconditional pardon granted pursuant to this proclamation shall extend to all persons presently being prosecuted for offences associated with militant activities; and This proclamation shall cease to have effect from Sunday, 4th October 2009.

MADE UNDER MY HAND THIS ________DAY OF__________________ 2009.

At the Proclamation of Amnesty for Niger Delta Militants
25th June 2009
Today, the 25th day of June 2009, the Federal government takes another decisive step in our avowed commitment to bringing enduring peace, security, stability, and development to our nation’s Niger Delta.

From inception, our Administration has demonstrated unwavering commitment to evolving a holistic solution to the problems of the Niger Delta: securing the region for growth and development, while also effectively tackling the criminal dimension to the problem.

We do recognize that the provision of the necessary infrastructure for the sorely needed socio-economic development of the area is dependent on an enduring atmosphere of peace and security.   

 Constructive and frank engagements with all the stakeholders have defined our approach in the past two years.  In line with the requisite priority which our Seven-point Agenda accords to the issue, and in furtherance of our determination to decisively deal with all the ramifications of the crisis, a Presidential Panel on Amnesty and Disarmament of Militants in the Niger Delta was set up on the 5th of May, 2009.

With the Federal Government’s acceptance of the recommendations of the Presidential Panel setting out the terms, procedures, and processes of the grant of an amnesty to Niger Delta militants, the National Council of State was today duly consulted.
The offer of amnesty is predicated on the willingness and readiness of the militants to give up all illegal arms in their possession, completely renounce militancy in all its ramifications unconditionally, and depose to an undertaking to this effect.  It is my fervent hope that all militants in the Niger Delta will take advantage of this amnesty and come out to join in the quest for the transformation of our dear nation.  The offer of amnesty is open to all militants for a period of sixty days. 
Fellow Nigerians, our twin-challenge of democratic consolidation and economic regeneration calls for unbridled patriotism and single-minded, people-focused, results-oriented, resolute and courageous leadership at all levels.  We cannot afford to fail.  Let us use today’s proclamation of amnesty to herald a new beginning for our Fatherland.
As I append my signature to the Proclamation, I pray that Almighty God continues to bless our dear country, Nigeria.

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