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OKIRO CONDEMNS WARRI BOMB BLAST

By NBF News
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Okiro
Immediate past Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Dr Mike Okiro, has condemned the bomb blast that occurred in the Delta State Government House annex Warri, during the post-amnesty conference last week.

Okiro noted that many people may be agitated that the amnesty is delayed but 'the delay was occasioned by the health of President Umar Musa Yar'Adua.'

He, however, expressed the belief that the government will accelerate its success because 'the Acting President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan has taken bold steps to give commensurate actions to ensure that the amnesty remains effectively on board.'

Okiro appealed to the youths to give the Federal Government a chance to ensure full implementation of the amnesty and urged top government officials, traditional rulers, religious leaders and youth leaders to appeal to their youths and wards, to shun violence and criminality.

Okiro made the remarks in an acceptance speech he delivered on behalf of 18 recipients of honorary doctorate degree conferred on them by Madonna University, Ogume, Delta State. He was given honorary doctorate degree in Science in Security and Strategy.

Giving history of the amnesty, the ex-IGP disclosed that the amnesty was the brain child of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) during his tenure. He added that his memo on the amnesty was forwarded to President Umaru Yar'Adua on July 1, 2008.

According to him, 'many top government officials doubted its success, some challenged and threatened me but I pressured the president and later recommended that a committee should be formed to work out the modalities on the amnesty and it was formed under the Ministry of Interior.'

Okiro revealed that even at the formation of the committee to give the amnesty a face-lift, there were still doubts among some top government officials.

He further disclosed that the threats almost came to fruition when he was to go to Ogoni to mop up arms in preparation for the implementation of the amnesty.

'There were intelligent reports that it was dangerous for me to travel to Ogoni for the mop up of arms exercise but immediately I called some of the ex-militants and told them that I got intelligent reports that it was dangerous for me to come to Ogoni. I told them that I was representing the president and whatever they want to do to the president they should do it to me. They said 'uncle we are not after you,' and we went to Ogoni at 8pm.'

Okiro noted that he took that risk because he believed that the amnesty would work for peace and development of the Niger Delta, because all over the world, it was a known fact that the Niger Delta region had been neglected over the years.