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Ex-militants kick against alleged plan to scrap amnesty programme


Judith Amaechi

• Amaechi’s wife seeks education to reduce militancy

Ex-militants in the Niger Delta yesterday warned against scrapping the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP).The Chairman of the Amnesty Phase II, Ambassador Kingsley Muturu, cautioned on their behalf in Delta State.According to him, the alleged suspension of the educational programmes under PAP is a sign that the Federal Government is gradually phasing it out.

The ex-militants urged the Federal Government to first relocate oil facilities in the area before taking such a provocative action.Muturu warned that the planned phase out shows that the Federal Government is not interested in consolidating on the fragile peace in the region.He stressed that the denial of the ex-militants’ rights is also a plot to stop the people from attaining leadership positions in the country.

He said: “It is disheartening that the training of some ex-militants under the agricultural segment, were reduced to two weeks or less, even though they were meant to last longer.

“The implication is that such people were not trained at all, while the contractors of the programmes have continued to receive huge sums of money.Muturu alleged that some politicians were ill-advising the coordinator of the programme, Gen. Paul Borow from holding meetings with leaders of the ex-militants.He expressed concern that the region’s development, which the late former President Musa Yar’Aduah envisaged in the PAP, had not been achieved.

Meanwhile, wife of the Minister of Transportation, Judith Amaechi, has called for stronger kindergarten education to reduce militancy in the region.She made the appeal yesterday in Abuja in an interview with journalists.She explained that her organisation, mpowerment Support Initiative (ESI) has been providing skills for the youths, women and children in kindergarten schools in the area.

She said the aim of her empowerment programme is to reduce militancy in the region.Amaechi explained that the lack of education could make young children to be lured into carrying arms.She said: “I am concerned about our people, wherein the only thing you here about them is militancy. We want this to stop, hence we decided to create an opportunity for the people to erase the negative image.”

She disclosed that ESI has provided free education for over 4,000 children in about 37 schools across Rivers State.“For me education is power, because at the tender age, one could make or mar a child’s future. It is a formative age where you could teach child morals about God and open their horizon towards education.

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