Amnesty: FG accuses Security Agents of backing Agitation
The Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta, Mr. Kingsley Kuku, has blamed the renewed call in the region for a third phase of the amnesty programme on corrupt security agents and some youths.
Kuku, who is also the Chief Executive Officer of the Federal Government Amnesty Programme, made the comment during a press conference on the first 100 days in office of the President Goodluck Jonathan administration.
He told journalists that since the President had taken a decision that the programme would not have a third phase, the amnesty office would not be able to admit more persons.
He explained that the mandate given to the amnesty office was to cater for 26,358 ex-militants, who embraced the programme on or before the October 4, 2009 deadline for them to drop their arms.
The Presidential aide alleged that some security operatives were colluding with those behind the agitations in some Niger Delta states on the premise that they had disarmed and should, therefore, be included in the programme.
He said the activities of such operatives and the claim by the youths to be ex-militants were putting pressure on the amnesty office.
Kuku said, “The amnesty office has also ascertained that these youths who are not part of the amnesty programme are colluding with very corrupt security agents working in the Niger Delta to claim that they have disarmed and are entitled to inclusion in the Amnesty Programme.
“And worse still, their very unpatriotic actions give the amnesty programme bad publicity and expose it to unwarranted attacks. We have challenged the nation's security agencies to help stem this ugly tide.”
The presidential adviser added that majority of those calling for the third phase of the amnesty programme did not belong to any of the known defunct militant camps in the Niger Delta.
“Explanations by the Amnesty Office that they could not be included in the programme since they did not come out on or before October 4, 2009 to drop their arms and accept the offer of amnesty from the Federal Government, have not helped much,” he said.
Kuku said it was the responsibility of the Joint Task Force on the Niger Delta to adhere strictly to the rules guiding the granting of amnesty.
“Security agencies must not leave arms in the hands of persons who illegally bear them. They should not be documenting such people as possible beneficiaries of the programme admission into which has long seized to exist,” he said.