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REPS DASH HOPE OF FREEDOM FOR KIDNAPPED EXPATRIATES

By NBF News
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Hope of reprieve for embattled expatriates kidnapped recently on a vessel serving at the Chevron Oil Field Agbami in Bayelsa State was dashed yesterday as the House of Representatives rejected a motion calling for their freedom.

The House also frustrated an attempt to investigate the implementation of the amnesty programme with a view to finding out why some agitated youths in the Niger Delta were excluded from the programme.

A motion by Mr Reyenieju Daniel Oritse entitled: 'Hijack of Vessel and Kidnapping of Three Expatriates off Niger Delta Coastline,' was rejected after more than one hour debate.

In the motion, Reyenieju stated that unidentified armed men hijacked an oil supply vessel 'MV Endeavour' off the coast, serving Chevron's Agbami Oil field, including three expatriates on board.

He further informed the House that the Agbami Oil field produces 250, 000 barrels of crude oil on daily basis, lamenting that the recent attack was the second armed attack on Chevron vessels off the coast of Bayelsa in the month of November.

According to him, recent attacks on ships in Nigeria, Niger Delta Region had become a serious threat to the Amnesty Programme initiated by the late President Umaru Yar' Adua. He attributed the renewed insecurity in the Niger Delta to inadequacy of the amnesty programme to capture all the restive youths, saying if over 27, 000 had been demobilised, rehabilitated and reintegrated across the Niger Delta states, relative peace would have been witnessed in the region.

He expressed concern that the Presidency announced an initial grant of N50billion in 2009; Senate also approved a budget of N10billion in 2009 for the Godwin Abbey-led Committee and several other funds expended so far, the amnesty programme was yet to produce fruitful result.

Reneiyeju called on the House to condemn the alleged acts of lawlessness on the nation's territorial waters and called for the constitution of an ad-hoc committee to urgently investigate the implementation of the amnesty programme and the reasons for the exclusion of some agitated youths in the Niger Delta.