National News

N’Delta: Ex-agitators worry over alleged plan by NSA to end amnesty programme

Ex-Niger Delta militants are threatening to shut down oil pipelines, government houses, and the National Assembly, over plans by National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno, to end the Amnesty Programme.

The ex-militants claimed that the NSA was planning to shut down the Presidential Amnesty Program in a bid to cover his tracks after allegedly looting the office through his cronies.

They also gave the Nigerian government’s interim committee one-week ultimatum to pay contractors.

Chairman of the third phase of the Niger Delta Amnesty Programme, Ebi John, said the threat would be carried out if the government does not fully revive the programme in the coming weeks.

Speaking with newsmen in Yenagoa, John called on the initiators of the amnesty deal to prevail on President Muhammadu Buhari to appoint a substantive coordinator for the programme without further delay to allay the fears of the beneficiaries.

The ex-militant leader called on the caretaker committee to make its findings public and punish those that are culpable in the probe.

He said, “General Mongonu had used two of his friends General Paul Boroh and Prof Charles Dokubo to destabilize the programme in the bid to close down the programme. There is available evidence of how General Mongonu had been making billions monthly from the Amnesty program.

“So, I am calling on our father, former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan and current Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva; they were the persons whose pioneering efforts brought about the programme, they should not let it die, being their brainchild.

“It is because of their silence that the rot has been allowed to degenerate to where we are now. The programme is already nose-diving because the programme is not run properly.

“The contractors are suffering. Yet we were told the Amnesty office has over 15 billion naira, if not more and yet the contractors are not paid. The caretaker committee, should as a matter of urgency, pay the contractors as most of them are dying in abject poverty.

“Outside payment of the contractors, the stipends of these boys should not be delayed to avoid unforeseen circumstances. We are enjoying relative peace in the region. When the crisis starts, investors will not come into the region again.

“A lot of people are also being misinformed about the programme. The Amnesty Programme is not just meant for only 30,000 ex-militants, rather, the programme also has provision for youth from crisis impacted communities in the region.”

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