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AMNESTY South-South governors pull out

By Emmanuel Edeki and Ishola Balogun
Barely four weeks after President Yar’adua declared  amnesty to Niger-Delta militants who are ready to lay down their weapons and embrace peace, the six south-south governors have decided to pull out of the amnesty programme
Rising from a meeting which lasted till the early hours of today in Asaba, the six south-south governors;
Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers, Timipre Sylva of Bayelsa, Godswill Obot Akpabio of Akwa Ibom, Senator Liyel Imoke of Cross River, Dr, Emmanuel Uduiaghan of Delta and Adams Oshiomhole of Edo state gave  four reasons for pulling out of the programme.

They said  that the proposed Petroleum Industries Bill   is anti-Niger Delta communities and a slap on the oil producing area;   that the movement of university of Petroleum from Effurn to Kaduna is unacceptable. Other reasons include the absence of definite post-amnesty plan for the region which they consider crucial to the success of the deal and   that the Petroleum Minister, Rilwan Lukman is anti Niger Delta.

It will be recalled that the federal government on Wednesday reversed the upgrading of the Petroleum Training Institute, PTI, Effurn, Warri to a university status as approved by  former president Olusegun Obasanjo.

However,  the government defended its decision to move the petroleum college to Kaduna and  the N14billion budget of the institution saying that those who do not want the project sited in the North should have a re-think as there is absolutely nothing they can do to change the government decision.

With the approval, the Kaduna College is now to be responsible for the training of management manpower needed in the industry while the older PTI, Effurun, Warri would be responsible for training the junior cadre manpower. This development undoubtedly has continued to generate widespread condemnation from a cross section of people of the Niger-Delta region.


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