Controversial Itsekiri youth leader, Chief Ayiri Emami, has called on President-Elect, General Muhammadu Buhari, to probe and scrap the multi-billion dollar Amnesty Programme designed for ex-militants in the Niger Delta region.
Emami, who recently dumped the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and reportedly joined the All Progressives Congress (APC) just after Buhari won the presidential elections, said that the amnesty programme was a conduit pipe which was designed to fleece the nation’s resources and such it should be scrapped.
A former Itsekiri warlord, Emami secured respite for the battered Itsekiris in Warri and its refugees from Ogidigben, Mandagho, Ode-Itsekiri and other Itsekiri enclaves from the marauding Ijaws during the Warri crisis. He maintained that the amnesty programme was a colossal waste and urged the incoming administration to abolish it and direct the fund to develop the neglected oil communities in the Niger Delta region.
Emami, who was rewarded with a juicy security contract with Chevron to guard the company’s facilities in Escravos just after the Warri crisis, had berated some former militant leaders in Niger Delta and other groups who had called on the incoming administration of Buhari to sustain the amnesty programme, saying the calls were from selfish people fighting for their gains and not interest of the region.
He said rather than sustain the programme, Buhari should investigate activities of the amnesty programme and thereafter abolish it.
In a statement made available to THEWILL, Emami expressed displeasure over the wastage and corruption going on in the name of the amnesty programme.
According to him,”If the layman understanding of the word amnesty is anything to go by, then it presupposes an arrangement where militants who genuinely turn in all their arms and ammunitions are rehabilitated, re-oriented and trained with a view to reintegrating them to everyday societal living.
“In the ordinary sense of it, any person or group that picks up arms in the name of struggle or agitation ought to have been treated as terrorist (s), hence nobody or group should take the gesture of the federal government for granted.
“Amnesty should not be continuous; partially giving out money to youths from a particular ethnic nationality is wrong, sending some of them abroad for training without any visible impact on the Niger Delta and the Nation at large is counter-productive.”
Specifically, he said that the call by Ijaw Youth Council, (IYC) for the sustenance of the amnesty programme was absolutely unnecessary.
According to him, the amnesty programme ought to be a temporary gesture and not a permanent thing which, he said, some persons have turned into a conduit pipe to drain the nation’s wealth.
He added: “President-Elect Buhari should focus in the genuine development of the Niger Delta region, looking at the peculiar economic nature of the region without looking at the sloppy voting pattern of the just concluded Presidential election….”
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