POST AMNESTY EX-MILITANTS' SUPPORT HASTY – JRC
The Joint Revolutionary Council (JRC) has described as hasty the declaration of support by ex-militant leaders in the Niger Delta for the post-amnesty programme.
The position of the council corroborates the view of Prof G.G Darah who expressed fears that the amnesty programme was endangered if the necessary steps to assuage the feelings of the Niger Delta people were not put in place.
Reviewing the meeting where the ex-militant leaders passed a vote of confidence on the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta, Mr Ndutimi Alaibe, the JRC in a statement by its spokesperson, Cynthia Whyte, said as the highest decision making body in the Niger Delta struggle, it was too early to get excited with the renewed efforts of the post-amnesty programme.
It said it was not enough to have a President and his adviser committed to the programme without taking precautionary steps to defeat the bureaucracy that has made it impossible to implement the programme since its pronouncement.
JRC demanded a gazette of the amnesty granted by late President Umaru Yar'Adua and warned governors who have not shown commitment to the exercise that their time was running out. The statement reads in part: 'It is one thing to have a President that is committed to ensuring the total success of the amnesty programme (and a speedy development of the Niger Delta) and a Presidential Adviser that they trust and then it is another thing to beat the bureaucracy that has haunted the amnesty programme and its funding for almost a year now.
'We have been informed that President Goodluck Jonathan has given express orders for increased financial autonomy of the presidential amnesty programme. That is good but that is not enough.
'We demand that the fullness of the declared amnesty be exercised immediately. The amnesty as declared by Umaru Musa Yar'Adua should be gazetted immediately. 'There are a few more active combatants in the creeks and they will not give up arms unless they are sure that the amnesty is true, sincere and for the greater good of all people'.