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Ex-militants threaten to return to creeks if amnesty is politicized

Repentant militants in Akwa Ibom have warned the Federal Government against politicizing the Presidential Amnesty Programme.

They advised the government to rather fund the program to allow its leaders to implement and complete the existing phase of the program, which includes the rehabilitation and reintegration of its members.

The repentant militants vowed and threatened to return to business as usual if the government breach any or whole part of the agreement of PAP.

In a press statement made available to newsmen signed by the Chairman and the Secretary of the Akwa Ibom Phase 11 Ex-Militants, Comrade Imoh Okok and Mr. Sunny Affiah, the forum revealed that the government had not paid the agreed stipends and school fees of the ex-militant groups vocational training centers in and outside the country.

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The statement in part reads,” It is a well-known fact that the peace enjoyed in the Niger Delta today depends on the sustenance of the Presidential Amnesty program.

”It is on record that almost all Akwa Ibom ex-militants have not been trained both in schools, vocational training centers and even till now the office is unable to pay ex-militants’ allowances and contractors due to improper funding of the Presidential Amnesty Programme.”

The administration of the Interim Niger Delta Development Commission (NCDC), Mr. Effiong, was applauded by the group in maintaining peace in the region, but his effort could be unproductive if the agreement of the PAP is not funded.

They said, ”he may not be able to perform creditably due to the inadequate funding of the amnesty office. And this may adversely affect his lofty programs and could lead to incessant protests, harassment of the leadership of the Presidential Amnesty Office, and possible loss of confidence in the amnesty deal and subsequent return of the ex-agitators to the creeks.

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”The Forum, therefore, unanimously call on the President and other relevant authorities not to play politics with the Amnesty program but to adequately fund it to enable its leadership to implement the rehabilitation, reintegration and existing phases of the program successfully, as well as pay contractors handling various projects in the region in order to sustain the fragile peace in the Niger Delta today.”

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