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You Can't Stop Amnesty Programme, Ijaw Youths Tell Buhari

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SAN FRANCISCO, May 06, (THEWILL) – Foremost Ijaw Youth Organisation, Ijaw Youth Council (IYC), on Wednesday told the President-Elect, General Muhammadu Buhari, that he cannot stop the amnesty programme because it would amount to a breach of contract the Federal Government had with ex-militants.

“The amnesty porgramme is an agreement/contract between ex-agitators and the Federal Government of Nigeria for which the ex-agitators have performed their own part of the agreement and left for the Federal Government to complete its own part which involves complete re-integration of the ex-agitators, “ IYC spokesman, Eric Omare, said in a statement yesterday.

The statement was in reaction to reports credited to Senator-elect, Comrade Shehu Sani, who had called on Buhari to scrap the amnesty programme on assumption of office.

IYC described Sani’s statement as reckless, provocative and another conspiracy against the Niger-Delta people, alleging that those who conspired against Jonathan were out to cause crisis in the Niger Delta once Buhari is sworn in on May 29.

The statement said: “The Ijaw Youth Council (IYC), Worldwide regard the call by Boko Haram negotiator, ally and Senator-elect from Kaduna State, Comrade Shehu Sani, for the scrapping of the presidential amnesty programme for ex-Niger Delta agitators and published in several newspapers on Wednesday, the 5th of May, 2015, on the basis that it is now a drain on the nation's resources as reckless, provocative and another conspiracy against the Niger-Delta people.

“The IYC is aware of clandestine moves by those who conspired to force President Jonathan out of Aso Rock to set the Niger-Delta region on fire from May 29, 2015 upon General Buhari's assumption of office.

“It is not true as alleged by Shehu Sani that the amnesty programme is a continuous drain on the nation's resources and only benefits a particular ethnic group.

“The amnesty programme is an initiative of the federal government designed for ex-Niger Delta agitators who agreed to surrender their arms and were documented in 2009.

“The programme involves different phases with the re-integration phase as the last phase. It is not the fault of the beneficiaries of the amnesty programme that the re-integration phase which involves training and provision of jobs has not been completed. It is because of budgetary constraints on the side of the Federal Government.

“In any case, it is absurd and nauseating for Comrade Sani to assert that the amnesty programme is a drain on the nation's resources.

“The amnesty programme is not being sponsored with groundnut pyramid money from Shehu Sani's Kaduna State or northern Nigeria, but with oil money generated from the Niger-Delta region.

“It is on record that before the declaration of amnesty by President Yar'Adua, Nigeria's daily oil production went low as 700,000 barrels but as a result of the amnesty programme, Nigeria now produces more than 2.5 million barrels of oil with resultant massive increase in the nation's revenue.

“The IYC wonders if Comrade Sani, a close ally of Boko Haram, made his reckless and disgusting statement while suffering from the psychological effect of the massive casualties Boko Haram is recording in the hands of the Nigeria Army!.

“It is on record that when Boko Haram was carrying out relentless attacks on innocent Nigerians, Comrade Sani was always in the media condemning government inability to fight Boko Haram.

“But now that the federal government under President Jonathan has almost wiped out Boko Haram, he has been mute and now laying a foundation for insurgency in the Niger-Delta region.

“It is also mischievous for Comrade Sani to allege that the administration of President Jonathan only sited projects in the Niger Delta to the detriment of the north and south west.

“The truth is that President Jonathan sited majority of projects in the northern part of the country to appease northerners to support his administration but to no avail.

“And if we may ask, how many of the leaders from the Northern part of Nigeria has developed the region more than President Jonathan?

“The IYC strongly advise General Buhari to ignore the call for the scrapping of the amnesty programme by Comrade Sani and his co-conspirators. They are only laying landmines to cause unnecessary distractions for his administration.”