ByÂ Laja Thomas
The President, Niger Delta Peace and Development Forum (NDPDF), Mr. Glory Abrefera, has berated the Federal Government for not showing enough commitment towards resolving problems in the Niger Delta, even as he faulted the Federal Government for not extending the amnesty period.
Abrefera, who spoke in an interview with Vanguard yesterday said, â€œif you want to make peace, you must dialogue and reach soft landing.Â It is only then can you achieve peace in the region. Why give ultimatum in the first place if government is actually sincere in addressing the problems of our region. If these problems cannot be solved once, why not in phases?â€
“The Federal Government has said that it would not shift ground on the amnesty deadline”.
Abrefera also urged the Federal Government to back its amnesty programme with genuine economic empowerment, failure of which would make the whole process a nullity.
He said, â€œthe truth is that the Niger Delta does not need amnesty. What it needs is economic empowerment. Build industrial parks, create employment and provide infrastructure that would metamorphose into super structures, put in place good schools, and establish a workable power sector.â€
He noted that if amnesty was pursued without infrastructure and employment opportunities, the government would have only empowered the militants to go back to the creeks in the nearest future.
â€œIf amnesty is pursued and the issues of infrastructure and employment are not addressed, basic amenities are not provided, you would only have empowered the militants to do the worse tomorrow. Create credit schemes to empower people, build industries, this is the way to go,â€ he said.