They said the truce between government and former agitators was reached in the interest of the Niger Delta region and entire nation but the delay in the implementation of the terms of agreement does not show goodwill on the part of government.
The former militants, under the first phase of the Niger Delta Amnesty Programme, in a meeting at Transcorp Hotel in Calabar, Cross River State yesterday with the Co-ordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), Prof. Charles Dokubo, said the agreement should be implemented without any further delay.
National Vice President of the former agitators’ forum, Chief Henry Dunudoudougha, otherwise known as Egbema, implored the Federal Government to stop taking the former agitators for granted and ensure speedy training and empowerment of all beneficiaries of the programme as contained in the terms of agreement.
“We have been patient with the Federal Government since 2009 when the agreement was signed but we have reached our limit and therefore call for the provision of leadership training to all camp leaders outside the shores of this country without further delay. We have kept to our part of the agreement and have resisted all temptations to return to the creeks. It is, therefore, important for the government to also keep its part,” he said.
On his part, Opia Joshua reminded Prof. Dokubo and his team that it was the proclamation of the amnesty programme by the late President Umaru Musa Yar ‘Adua in 2009 and the subsequent agreement with agitators that improved the production output of oil from 750bpd to 2.7mbpd, which boosted the economy of the country still being enjoyed up till date.
He alleged that civil servants and politicians were trying to hijack the programme, which is sending a bad signal to the Niger Delta amnesty beneficiaries and such moves should be addressed immediately to forestall crisis.
Opia also urged the amnesty programme co-ordinator to reconstitute the stakeholders department of the amnesty office to include camp leaders and also appoint someone that will serve as a liaison between the office and the leaders to provide for smooth flow of information.
Dokubo appreciated the former agitators for attending the meeting and promised to continue working with them and look into their matter.