AKHERE GODWIN, Benin
The Izon-Ibe Global Policy Network, a group of former militant leaders in the Niger Delta region has rationalised the Federal Government Amnesty programme for Niger Delta youths and said that it has curbed youth restiveness in the region.
The group which asked the President–elect, General Muhammadu Buhari, to disregard calls for the incoming government to scrap the programme said what was necessary is for an auditing of the programme to strengthen it.
Spokesman for the body, Ayubalayefa Olu Dennis, in a statement in Benin City, said: “It is imperative that the peace being enjoyed in the Niger Delta is sustained for the economic prosperity of the country because the amnesty program has doused tension among youths in the region.
“It must be noted that the programme is also part of the struggle towards the actualization of better life for the people”.
The group maintained that the call became necessary because the incoming Federal Government has promised to usher in a new lease of life for all Nigerians irrespective of regional or political affiliation.
The former militants have also appealed to General Buhari to ensure that those who were not captured in the initial phase of the amnesty programme are given the opportunity to be enlisted.
Dennis, who advised Buhari should be wise, added that the clamour for the scrapping of the programme could be because of the huge funds sunk into the programme by the federal government.