Ex-agitators of the Niger Delta have threatened to return to the creeks if the Federal Government scraps the Presidential Amnesty Programme.
This was disclosed by the leader of ex-agitators in Akwa Ibom State, Nico Sintei, on Monday in Uyo, while reacting to the alleged plan to scrap the amnesty programme.
He explained that majority of the beneficiaries of the programme don’t have any other source of income besides the sixty-five thousand (N65,000) Naira monthly allowance.
Sintei stressed that any right thinking Nigerian that appreciates the peace, unity and progress of the country, would not wish for the only laudable programme that solved the problem of militancy and attacks on oil installations in the region, to be scrapped.
He wondered why the issue of the Niger Delta amnesty programme should be a cause for concern to the Nigerian government instead of focusing on how to put an end to the worsening security situation in the country.
“The Federal government should not tamper with the Amnesty Programme if it really wants to continue to enjoy the oil production from the region. The programme is the only thing that has sustained the peace in the Niger Delta region, it helped to stop militancy and youth restiveness in the region, and attack on oil installations.
“And the only things the Niger Delta ex-agitators have benefited from the programme is the Sixty-five thousand naira PAP monthly allowance. Also some of us were sent to School, some have been trained in various skills. Is that too much?
“Why is that the paltry N65,000 allowance few youths from the region that lays the golden egg are receiving from the programme has become a problem? And as far as I am concerned, it was the best thing that late President Yar’Adua did for Nigeria. Other solutions failed but PAP worked.
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“Let them understand that the amnesty programme can only stop when they stop drilling oil from this region; the day we stop feeding this country. We were not told that the programme has expiry date, so it cannot be scrapped. Therefore I advise that they should let sleeping dogs lie.
“The federal government should understand that those advising it to scrap the programme do not like the existing peace in the Niger Delta region, they don’t mean well for Nigeria.
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“I am not saying these things because I am a beneficiary of the programme. But as a leader of ex-agitators in Akwa Ibom, I am saying that if they scrap the programme what they are simply asking them is to go back to militancy or the creeks. And you can imagine what the consequences will be.
“Today, Boko Haram insurgents, bandits are killing innocent citizens, in Kaduna, all over the country, and the government has not done anything to put an end it, they are looking for how to stop Amnesty programme and add more problems into the system.”