Amnesty Cautions Niger Delta Youths Against Militancy

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The Presidential Amnesty Programme has said it will roll out a special project aimed at preventing a new generation of agitators in the Niger Delta region.

The PAP Interim Administrator, Col Milland Dikio (retd.), explained that the project tagged, Niger Delta Stabilisation Programme, would involve a massive reorientation targeting youths between the ages of 12 and 18 in all the states in the region.

Dikio said this would ensure that a new generation of agitators did not spring up in the crude oil and gas-rich region in particular and the nation in general.

A statement by Dikio’s Special Adviser on Media, Nneotaobase Egbe, said the PAP boss made the revelation while delivering a keynote lecture at the Nigeria Defence College in Abuja on Monday.

The statement, which was made available to newsmen in Port Harcourt on Tuesday, said the project would also strive to set up the ex-agitators in meaningful ventures to ensure lasting peace and security in the Niger Delta.

Dikio said the projects would be implemented through various schemes such as the Train, Employ and Mentor, cooperatives, strategic conflict resolutions and peace-building programmes.

He said, “We have adopted a conflict resolution system that involves robust stakeholders’ engagement, strategic communication and rehabilitation and resettlement, peacebuilding and reconciliation programmes.

“It is also pertinent to note that the proposed Niger Delta Stabilisation Programme targeted at age groups 12 to 18 involves reorientation and visioning of these groups of youths to curb any new emergence of militancy in the Niger Delta.

“You’ll be pleased to know that some of the people, whose responsibility is to block the roads when they have issues, have come out to confess that they didn’t know better. They confessed that they were hired to block the roads and they did so because they were ignorant.

“Now, instead of the usual violent behaviour, they seek avenues for dialogue. We hold face-to-face meetings with the ex-agitators, talk about their issues and work out resolutions that benefit all.

“This has helped in mitigating many issues that otherwise would have led to the breakdown of law and order in the region.”

Dikio said that the PAP set up a strategic communication committee last year to resolve some of the challenges of the ex-agitators.