10 June 2017, Sweetcrude, Abuja – The Presidential Amnesty Programme announced that it has enrolled 200 ex-militants in the Niger Delta region for an all-inclusive sports competition, saying it is a means to ensure lasting peace in the region.
The Coordinator of the amnesty programme, Brig Gen Paul Boroh, said this in a press briefing in Abuja, adding that the move would ensure that the Niger Delta youths were gainfully engaged.
Boroh, who said the selection started three weeks ago, noted that the government had partnered with two private organisations, Sia One Academy and Connected Nigeria, for the sports competition, which included football, swimming, boxing, weight lifting and track events.
He said, “Our duty is to ensure that there is constant peace in the region. The people in the region also have to be included in the peace drive. But we are starting with 200 ex-agitators. The sports initiative is one of the efforts our programme is making to maintain peace in the region. The other efforts are quick impact projects.
“The programme has sunk boreholes in Gelegele, an oil producing community in Edo State; and that the residents applauded the project. There is work ongoing to also put a mini water works in Gbaramatu kingdom. The project will include industrial boreholes and treatment plant.”
A former Super Eagles coach, Samson Siasia, at the briefing said Nigeria was long overdue in using sports as a tool for peace.
“Sports is the greatest unifying factor in Nigeria. In a couple of months, we hope to see a success of this programme,” he added.