By Laja Thomas
A group, the Niger Delta Peace and Development Forum (NDPDF) has condemned the October 4 ultimatum given by the Federal Government to militants to surrender their arms or be declared enemies of the state.
In a press statement signed by its president, Mr. Glory Okoghewe Abrefera,the group said the major pre-occupation of government in the region should have been massive provision of social amenities that will improve infrastructural development.
The statement said â€œin as much as we donâ€™t support the actions of the Movement for the Emancipation of Niger Delta (MEND) and other militants, the Federal Government, however, must engage all stakeholders in the South-South in dialogue, including the non-militant groups,â€ adding that, â€œeffort that cannot achieve peace is not acceptable to us. Why give ultimatum? The government is insincere in the amnesty deal.â€
The group pointed out that the NDPDF does not believe in amnesty, Niger Delta Ministry or any other intervention agency for that matter because it will eventually be hijacked by few self-serving elites, who are close to the corridors of power.
Continuing the statement said, â€œexcept there is a change of attitude from government, we are afraid, the amnesty might just be amirage.â€
Adding that, â€œgovernment should not should not settle any militant group, rather the money should be used to provide social amenities, vocational centres, build industries for the people of the region.â€