Port Harcourt — The Arewa Consultative Forum has urged the federal government not to wind down the Presidential Amnesty Programme, PAP, for repentant agitators in the Niger Delta.
Leader of Arewa Consultative Forum, Southern Nigeria, Alhaji Musa Saidu, warned that winding down the programme would bring more problem than gains to the country.
Saidu said though the programme would one day be scrapped, it was not yet ripe to do such at this time, explaining that most of the challenges of underdevelopment in the Niger Delta that gave rise to militancy, have not been addressed.
The Arewa leader disclosed that he was actively involved in campaign for the Presidential Amnesty to be given to repentant militants to calm nerves in the region and the formation of the Niger Delta Development Commission, to tackle issues of underdevelopment in the region.
“I played a role for the establishment of NDDC and Presidential Amnesty. I heard Amnesty will be terminated soon. It is very wrong to do that now. The Federal Government should allow it to continue. Terminating it now will be disastrous.
“We don’t want another crisis. My appeal to President Muhammadu Buhari is that he should not listen to people with vested interest to scrap the amnesty programme.
“All my life I have been working for peace between the North and South.
“The amnesty should be allowed. As a northern leader who has been living in the South, I know our southern brothers very well. Buhari should leave the amnesty programme.”
He also commended President Muhammadu Buhari for appointing Maj. Gen. Barry Tariye Ndiomu (Rtd), as interim administrator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, saying that the appointment was a good choice.
Follow us on twitter