By Ameh Ejekwonyilo
Some Niger Delta ex-agitators under the auspices of Niger-Delta Peace-Yoke Leadership Initiative (NIDPLI) have petitioned the National Security Adviser (NSA) over what the group described as recent unpleasant developments in the Office of the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta and Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme.
In the petition addressed to the office of the National Security Adviser signed by the group’s Coordinator, Excel Y.Toriomo, on behalf of concerned Ex-Niger Delta agitators, it alleged that “recent happenings in the office of the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta and Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, have caused us to think that some persons have covertly crept in the Amnesty Programme to hijack it for their own selfish interests”.
“We have watched the unpleasant developments in the programme with keen interest as critical stakeholders and come to the conclusion that the President meant well for the people of the Niger Delta Region when he decided to pursue the path of peaceful negotiations and dialogue, rather than military options in dealing with the issues of the Niger Delta since the inception of his administration in 2015.
“In his inaugural address to the nation on May 29, 2015, Mr. President clearly demonstrated his sincere commitment to the people of the region, with the administration’s resolve to toe the path of peace to build a sustainable Presidential Amnesty Programme, which was due to end in 2015. His Excellency went further to make a strong commitment to invest heavily in the Programme to make it more effective for peaceful/sustainable reintegration of ex-agitators from the Niger Delta region, already captured in the programme.
“However, with the utmost respect to your eminent office and a sense of responsibility, we want to use this medium to draw your attention to some strange developments that have kept reoccurring in the management of the Presidential Amnesty Programme from inception.
“These developments’’ they say ‘’bother on monumental fraud and massive corruption that have made officials of the Programme regular guests at the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), coupled with the ineptitude on the part of the Coordinators of the Programme. These have in no little ways impacted negatively on the Programme which came as a stop-gap security intervention to douse rising tension in the region that almost crumbled the national economy in 2009”.