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Amaechi: Not just a half baked amnesty package

By Odimegwu Onwumere

When a man speaks, his voice is different from that of a boy. And I have

seen such sonorous voice, amongst others, in the recent call by the Prince

Tonye T.J.T Princewill, the Rivers State AC and FOOPP leader that all

aggrieved persons in the Niger Delta region should sheathe the sword for the

peace and stability of the region. Considering what insecurity has done to

us, Princewill said, the damage it has caused our economy and the price we

have been paying in human terms, he feels highly elated with the steps taken

by both the Federal and Rivers State Governments to address the sad and

avoidable insecurity situation. He thanks Timi Alaibe, the Honorary Adviser

to the President on Niger Delta Matters who working with Princewill and the

Governor made this new position audible.
However, Amaechi and Princewill have been well-known to disagree on the

subject of militancy vs criminality on several occasions including how they

approach it but Princewill cannot take away the fact that the Governor took

the initiative of granting amnesty to the militants and even set up a camp

to rehabilitate and accept arms from them long before now. That was what

brought about the Chief A.K. Horsfall Rehabilitation.

The time is changing. Nigerians prefer intellectual militancy. Encouraging

others to capitalise on this window opened by the President and his

Governors to denounce the carrying of guns and give peace a chance so that

investors can come in and develop, Princewill said that he congratulates

Soboma George who recently demonstrated his intent. princewill commends

Governor Amaechi for taking this bold step of reassuring those ready to give

up their guns in his readiness to work with them to restore peace to our

State.
Princewill argues that no development can be achieved in either a chaotic or

warlike situation. He was particularly happy with the recent statement

credited to Rt. Hon. Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi, the Executive Governor of

Rivers State that he was ready to assist and encourage anyone desirous of

denouncing arms and accepting amnesty to do so.
This was as a result of the governor's former hardcore stance that he will

not pardon what he described as criminals. This made the alleged 'criminals

to express fear that the hard stance of the Governor was an obstacle to

their disarmament and their acceptance of the FG's amnesty package. But

Nigerians can see, Princewill said, with this recent stand of the Governor,

no-one in the state has any reason to doubt his position and continue to

carry arms in the name of militancy or agitation for the plight of our State

or region. Even though, like many, Princewill was a firm believer in a

holistic approach to the issue of the Niger Delta not just a half baked

amnesty package, he subscribes to the school of thought that says, we make

the best with what we have, while aggressively working for more.

Odimegwu Onwumere writes from Rivers State