WARRI- THE Presidential Committee on Amnesty, Abuja, yesterday, pleaded with ex-militants agitating for training abroad to be patient, as the committee was working round the clock to secure placements for them in competent overseas training institutions, while procurement of visas was also taking some time.
Head of Public Affairs of the Amnesty Office, Mr. Henry Ugbolue in response to complaints by ex-militants in Sapele that their training was being delayed said, “The truth is that many of our boys are very impatient. The Amnesty Office is working round the clock to achieve their placements in institutions within the country or offshore. Processing training centers take time, especially given the fact that we do not have nearly enough competent vocational training centers in the country”.
“For the offshore centers, securing visas take time; they will all be placed in reputable institutions in no distant time. We plead with them to be patient, kindly note that so far the Amnesty Office has placed 4,699 ex-agitators in institutions within the country and offshore for either formal education or vocational training”.
Some ex-militants from Sapele had in statement said, “we are crying out over the delay of our admission abroad, from the beginning of our program, we stand out for education, not vocational training’.
“Meanwhile, after the documentation and integration in Calabar, some of us were called for international passport, thereafter we went for visa in Abuja and Lagos for various universities in UK, USA, Canada and Malaysia, the only ones that left the country to study abroad are that of Malaysia, they are about one hundred and ten students drawn from across the Niger Delta States, while there are over three thousand students that apply for education”, they addded.
“Nevertheless, the amnesty committee in collaboration with Niger Delta Scholarship Fund called us for international passport and visa into different universities abroad; we have not been informed of any development concerning our education. Moreover, most of us are students of tertiary institutions here in Nigeria; we are being distracted with our studies since the beginning of the amnesty exercise”.
“We are all not in school anymore, this will make things get worse for the Federal government if is not properly managed. On the side of the students we make all effort to reach the Senior Special Adviser to Mr. President, Kingsley Kuku on this same issue but it all proved abortive, we are saying that we are not going to embrace abhorrent attitude from those cantankerous contractors of the programme.
“Kingsley Kuku whom we know is canvassing for quality education for the Niger Delta Youth cannot afford to forget us so soon since five months ago”, they asserted.
They asked President Jonathan to intervene in this “unacceptable situation so to avoid any breakdown of law and order in the Niger Delta region”, adding “We also use this medium to congratulate Kingsley Kuku for his well deserved re-appointment as Senior Special dviser to Mr. President on Niger Delta Affairs and Chairman Amnesty Committee”.