13 July 2016, Abuja—Senior Special Assistant to the President on Niger Delta Matters and Coordinator of the Amnesty Programme, Brig.-Gen. Paul Boroh (retd), has said that the Federal Government has no plan to bring in more Niger Delta militants into the amnesty programme, including the Niger Delta Avengers.
He also said that the Federal Government had commenced dialogue with the Avengers through the dialogue committee with a view to halting the lingering hostility and bombing of oil facilities in the region.
Boroh, who disclosed this on a television programme monitored in Abuja, explained that his mandate was to reintegrate only 30,000 ex-agitators captured in the amnesty programme and cannot go beyond the limit to bring in more agitators into the programme.
He blamed the current economic meltdown as one of the reasons that made it difficult for government to extend the amnesty programme to more agitators.
“Amnesty programme worldwide has a limit because it is a master piece strategy to resolve militancy. When that of Nigeria was established in 2009, it was supposed to exist for a particular time.
“I do not intend to bring in more into the programme because that is not my mandate. My mandate is to reintegrate 30,000 ex-agitators into the programme that are already in the programme. But this number is bloated because communities affected during the conflicts, government is also taking care of them. Some of them are undergoing skills acquisition and training.
“I do not think that the Federal Government is going to have another amnesty programme, it is very expensive and presently, our economy is not in the right status. So, it should not be a permanent programme.
“It is better to gain an employment than wait for amnesty prograame. Let us think of how to create jobs and develop the country. It is better to work than think of a programme that will give you a stipend every month.”