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Yar’Adua urged to consolidate gains of amnesty

By Jimitota Onoyume
PORT HARCOURT—PRESIDENT Umaru Musa Yar’Adua has been warned against steps that could weaken the gains of its amnesty programme for militants in the Niger Delta.

Some ex-militants, who spoke to Vanguard yesterday at their rehabilitation centre at the Federal Government College, Ikwerre road, Port Harcourt, expressed worries with what they termed attempt by the president to rate some former militants above others in the region.

Noting that such action would dampen the morale of most ex-militants in the region, they said the president should be conscious of the fact that no matter how small a former militant might be in his judgment, such a person, in connivance with his group, could have wreck similar damage on the system as those he has overrated.

The ex-militants said they were forced to speak up when they read in some national dailies that the president was to meet with some select ex-militants in the region; an action they said could destroy the gains of the amnesty programme.

They said what the government should have done was to meet with all ex-militant commanders, stressing that would make all groups would feel a sense of being  carried along by the government.

“Any attempt by the government to be partial will weaken the gains of the amnesty. The federal government, by all its actions, should be seen to be consolidating on the gains.

“Meeting some and leaving some of us out is weakening the morale of commanders in this rehabilitation centre,” said one of the ex-militants.

Meanwhile, at press time, about 150 e- militants said to be from the camp of Boastaran, a former militant leader, were being documented at the rehabilitation centre.

No form of rehabilitation programme had commenced for the ex-militants at the centre.


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