PRESIDENT'S AIDE DISAGREES
Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta Affairs, Mr. Timi Alaibe, yesterday rose in defence of ex-militants that have been fingered for Friday's bombing of oil pipelines operated by Nigeria Agip Oil Company in Bayelsa State, describing the incident as 'an isolated delinquent case that had nothing to do with government's amnesty programme.'
Alaibe in a statement in Abuja said as regrettable as the bombing was, it was ridiculous to blame 'the criminal act' on militants who do not agree with the implementation of the amnesty programme, saying such reasoning was completely misplaced.
He said the blast was the handiwork of criminal elements whose intents and sponsors must be thoroughly investigated and exposed. 'Attributing such wicked act of economic sabotage to ex-militants in an attempt to gain relevance is totally unacceptable. None of the known ex-militant leaders has had any disagreement in whatever form with the properly coordinated amnesty programme of the Federal Government since its full-scale implementation under President Goodluck Jonathan,' the statement said.
According to the presidential aide, the ex-militant leaders have demonstrated deep commitment and loyalty towards the success of the programme and have mobilized their supporters to embrace the demobilization, rehabilitation and reintegration phase of the amnesty programme.
With a properly articulated process which has been put in place to rehabilitate and reintegrate the ex-militants, he said, there was no aspect of the amnesty package, as announced by the federal government that would not be implemented.
Alaibe said that so far, over 7000 ex-militants and their leaders had been trained at the special camp at Obubra in Cross River State, with more than half of them currently receiving professional and academic training in different disciplines at various accredited centres and institutions both in Nigeria and other parts of the world.