It was time for stock-taking, as the Amnesty Programme instituted by late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua for former militants in the Niger Delta, clocked three yesterday with positive stories reeled out by the managers of the project.
Chairman of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, Mr. Kingsley Kuku, told a news conference in Abuja that the successful implementation of the programme, had led to uninterrupted oil production and increased Nigeria’s oil income.
According to Kuku, who is also the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta Affairs, the peaceful atmosphere provided by Amnesty has pushed crude production from 800,000 barrels per day to 2.6 mbpd, earning Nigeria N33.4 billion daily.
Kuku pointed out that in 2011 Nigeria reaped a total of N6 trillion from oil based on a daily production rate of 2.6 mbpd.
The Special Adviser disclosed that his office had so far disarmed and demobilised no fewer than 26, 358 ex-militants, who were being exposed to different forms of skills and education opportunities to make them useful citizens.
He said that so far, 11,525 of the former agitators had been placed in skills acquisition/training centres and formal education within and outside Nigeria.
According to him, 4,929 are being trained abroad while 6,382 others are undergoing training within the country.
Kuku stated that another batch of 6,067 ex-militants was being processed for deployment to reintegration centres within and outside Nigeria under the 2012 fiscal year.
The SA said that unending agitations by youths in the Niger Delta to be included in the amnesty programme, many years after the expiration of the October 4, 2009 deadline was posing a serious challenge to his office.
He said however that it was the President who had the power to cause the inclusion of such youths in the programme.
Late President Yar’Adua had on June 25, 2009 declared general amnesty for Niger Delta militants and gave them up to October 4, 2009 to surrender their arms and sign up for peace.