WARRIâ€”MINISTER of State for Niger-Delta, Elder Godsday Orubebe, has condemned the threat by South-South governors to pull out of the amnesty programme of the Federal Government and called on militants to ignore them.
He also said the Federal Government neither relocated nor planned to relocate the Federal University of Petroleum Technology, Effurun, near Warri, Delta State, to Kaduna.
Speaking in an interactive session with newsmen, Orubebe said rumour of relocation was the handiwork of rumour peddlers and unscrupulous politicians.
The movement of the university from Warri to Kaduna was one of the reasons given by the South-South governors for their threat to pull out of the amnesty programme for the Niger Delta region.
On the PTI affair, Orubebe stated that the federal government has not removed any university. According to him, the Petroleum College in Kaduna has been in existence since 1995 and the previous administration of Olusegun Obasanjo had approved the upgrade of the Petroleum College in Kaduna and that of PTI, Effurun, but it was only that of Effurun that was done at that time.
â€œIt is now that that of Kaduna is being carried out. The government of Yarâ€™Adua has not done anything new. Some people are just talking about what they did not know.Â They should learn to study and look at documents closely before they talk to incite the public.. It is sad that people who are supposed to know are the rumour mongersâ€ the minister said.
The minister, who was asked to react to a report in a national daily that he supported the alleged movement of the university to Kaduna by the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Dr. Rilwan Lukman, said â€œthose who have ambition in whatever form would employ blackmail and character assassination to score any point to realize such self-seeking and unpatriotic ambition.
â€œBut two things are clear, as far as I am concerned; everybody knows that my passion for the Niger Delta and Nigeria as well as standards cannot be compromised in any form. And in line with the vision and passion of my boss (Yarâ€™Adua), my commitment to the peace and development in the Niger Delta is irrevocable.â€
On the amnesty programme, he lambasted those calling for the boycott of the initiative, adding that amnesty was the best for the Niger Delta and urged the militants to ignore the call.
Orubebe said, â€œthe same people who are calling the militants criminals are again asking them to boycott the amnesty initiative. What the federal government has done is to integrate everybody and move the region forward.
â€œIt is not true that there is no definite post-amnesty plan for the region.Â Those canvassing this position should go and read various documents and reports and papers presented to Mr. President for comment on the amnesty programme.
â€œPeople should read papers and documents before making public pronouncements on sensitive issues. In fact, the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs and other agencies have been given directive on how to re-integrate repentant militants.
â€œPeople should not tie their political interest to the amnesty initiative geared towards re-integrating our youths into the society and transformation of the Niger Delta.â€™â€˜