By Salifu Usman, Abuja
The Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta Affairs and coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, Brigadier General Paul Boro (Rtd), has vowed to end militancy and unrest in the Niger Delta with the Presidential Amnesty Sports for Peace Initiative (PASPI).
Boro, who pledged his full support and commitment to the initiative, in collaboration with the Sia-One Sports Academy, said he remained confident of achieving peace in the region through sports.
“This initiative started a long time ago. I play football and table tennis very well and, before now I had thought hard about what to do to unite the young people of the Niger Delta. So, when I was given this appointment, it was a welcome opportunity.
“Sports came to my mind and I discussed it with the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity Garba Shehu and former Super Eagles Chief Coach Samson Siasia, they gave me impetus and the role of sports as a unifying factor in any conflict will be harnessed,” he said.
He assured that everything would be put in place to ensure that Nigeria make best use of the football talents that would be produced by the project.
“I can assure you that anyone among the repented militants interested in sports generally, especially football, would be fully supported to exhibit and utilise that football talent. The youths of Nigeria always use sports as a platform to excel in life and we are ready to assist them in fulfilling their ambitions,” he said.
Also, Boroh vowed to use other sports like basketball, boxing and swimming that the region has comparative advantage in to transform the militant youths into “very productive and positive men and women in the society.”
He said: “My own policy is that we will use everyone who has an interest in sport and we want them to be available. There are some people that just want to be involved and others who want to advice. There will be different roles and we will embrace all, so that we can achieve peace,” Boroh explained.