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Amnesty: Group commends Buhari for paying monthly stipends of ex-agitators

President Muhammadu Buhari
President Muhammadu Buhari

NEDU MARK, Yenagoa

President, Association for Non-Violence in Niger Delta Region, Comrade Kennedy Tonjo West has lauded President Muhammadu Buhari for paying the monthly stipends of ex -Niger Delta agitators for the months of May and July.

Speaking to our correspondent, in Yenagoa, the state capital, Wednesday, Tonjo West also commended President Buhari for appointing Maj. Gen Paul Boroh as Coordinator of the Amnesty Programme.

West who also doubled as the leader, Non Violence Youths Assembly for Niger Delta Region, however, called on the federal government to release funds for the tuition of trainees schooling abroad on scholarship under the Amnesty Programme to aid their studies rather than risk them being chased out by the authorities in their institutions.

Comrade Tonjo West decried the spate of crime in the Niger Delta, especially acts of kidnapping, killings just as he condemned the recent abduction of persons, including politicians and children.

He appealed to state governors in the region to tackle acts of insecurity, even as he suggested granting of amnesty to restive youths in the region.

On pipeline surveillance by the management of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), West appealed to the management not to militarize the region by using soldiers to scare the villagers, but instead engage the jobless youths to guard the pipeline.

While calling on the corporation to award pipeline surveillance contracts to ex militants in the region who, according to him, ‘know the terrain more than the military,’ West condemned plans by the NNPC to deploy drones to monitor the pipelines in the coastal region.

“Contracting pipeline surveillance to youths of the region will go a long way to reduce the hostilities in the region and reduce acts of abduction of oil workers and other persons.

“Militarization of the region by soldiers would not help matters, because it is the same military that are aiding and abetting crude oil thefts in the region,” West said.

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