Ex-Militants Allege Marginalization By Amnesty Office

Ex-agitators who embraced the Federal Government Amnesty Programme in 2011 under the third phase have alleged marginalization and appealed to Federal Government to fast-track their training and reintegration.

Coordinator of the group Cairo Esenatebe who made the appeal on Sunday in Yenagoa noted that the programme for the group was behind schedule.

He said that the third phase beneficiaries had not been paid their monthly allowance for three months.

Esenatebe explained that there was a wide disparity between the progress made by the third phase beneficiaries and others under the amnesty programme, adding that the delay had dampened morale among the youths.

He appealed to the newly appointed Head of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, Prof. Dokubo, to immediately correct the anomaly and bring the third phase at par with other phases.

The ex-militant leader said that the third phase beneficiaries were gratified that there was budgetary provision in the 2018 budget for their reintegration and expressed optimism that the passage of the budget would turn things around.

He pointed out that efforts to build the capacity of the Niger Delta region should go beyond academics to include a mix with vocational skills development which leads to job creations.

According to him channeling all resources to tertiary education would only produce graduates who would join the saturated labour market.

“It is very sad to note that the process for the third phase has been stifled for over seven years since the third phase was demobilized, we are yet to participate in the training outlines for us while other phases have since concluded theirs.

“Our group has not been fairly treated and the facts are there and we are drawing the attention of the new head of the Presidential Amnesty Programme.

“It also appears that some interests in the office of Prof.  Dokubo are still bent on frustrating moves to pay outstanding benefits to the third phase beneficiaries.

“We therefore appeal to Prof.  Dokubo to in the interest of fairness and justice look at the case of the third phase to bring us up to date to meet up with the first and second phases of the amnesty programme,” Esenatebe said.

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