Former militant leaders from the nine states of the Niger Delta region are spoiling for war in the Niger Delta region unless the Federal Ministry of Finance releases the 2016 supplementary budgetary allocation for the Presidential Amnesty Programme.
In a protest letter to the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, over the issue, they noted that the non-remittance of the fund is creating a sense of frustration among the Amnesty beneficiaries and the ongoing peace process.
The ex-militant Leaders, under the umbrella of the Leadership, Peace and Cultural Development Initiative (LPCDI) said though the Ministry holds the legal right of allocating funds as directed by the Federal Government, it is urgent for it to release the funds.
At an emergency meeting held in Yenagoa,Bayelsa State and presided over by LPCDI President, Chief Reuben Wilson also known as General Pastor, the ex-militants in a statement, resolved that the Minister of Finance should promptly release the said funds for the effective and efficient management of the programme to sustain the peace process in the Niger Delta region.
While noting that the President is working tirelessly to foster peace and development in the region, they insisted that the prompt release of the funds will go a long way in strengthening the efforts of the President towards enthronement peace and stability in the Niger Delta.
The statement read in part “The Leadership, Peace and Cultural Development Initiative is greatly concerned about the current state of lack of funds in the amnesty office to carry out its programs which are designed to permanently eradicate restiveness in the Niger Delta region for the betterment of the entire country. At the moment students under the presidential amnesty program studying abroad are about to be sent back home because of failure to pay school fees and accommodation. The leadership is worried because if the current trend of delayed payment of stipends and school fees for the beneficiaries of the Amnesty Program continues, there could be breach of peace in the region and lack of confidence in the presidential amnesty program, which will be inimical to the economic stability of the nation”
“Any one or group of persons that do not consider the importance of the Presidential amnesty Program in the peace building process of the region is an enemy of the Nation. Such person or group of persons do not also mean well for the administration of President Mohammadu Buhari as the economic prosperity and development of the Nation still largely depends on the peace in the Niger Delta” It concluded.