Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta and Chairman, Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), Hon. (Dr.) Kingsley Kuku, has advised beneficiaries of the amnesty programme to continue to ensure sustainable peace in the Niger Delta region.
The PAP chairman, who gave the admonition in his end-of-year message to the beneficiaries, said by keeping faith with the amnesty deal, the former agitators in the region have contributed immensely to the growth of the Nigerian economy.
He said the Nigerian government, on its part, has remained committed to the educational, vocational and capacity development of the beneficiaries as a guarantee for a better future for them and the region.
“The Dr Goodluck Jonathan administration has not wavered in its commitment to ensuring the success of the amnesty programme. So far, no fewer than 19,000 Niger Delta youths have been trained or are in training in Nigeria and in almost 20 countries in various fields. In 2014, we plan to surpass our target in formal education and vocational training of the beneficiaries,” Kuku said.
The Presidential Adviser, however, cautioned youths of the region to shun overtures from desperate and disgruntled politicians that are bent on reversing the gains of the amnesty programme, saying they are enemies of the Niger Delta on a mission to discredit President Jonathan.
“We are already aware of a plot by a governor of an opposition party in the region to engage non-beneficiaries and some aggrieved beneficiaries of the amnesty programme to foment trouble in order to discredit President Jonathan. Some of the former leaders of the agitators have been contacted in a bid to heighten tension in the region as we move toward the 2015 elections.
“I urge youths in the region not to fall to the ploy of such desperate politicians. They must not allow the Niger Delta regress into violence again or allow themselves to be used by politicians, who will later dump them to their fate. The present administration has succeeded in giving hope to a lot of the youths through the amnesty programme after they were used and dumped by politicians in the past,” Kuku said.