By Daniel Idonor
ABUJAâ€”AS part of deliberate plans to rejuvenate the entire Amnesty programme and make it more people-oriented, key militants leaders from the oil-rich Niger-Delta yesterday met behind closed doors with the Presidential Advisory Council, PAC, led by Lt. Gen. Theophilus Danjuma.
Vanguard learnt that the meeting which took place in Abuja, is a prelude to another round of talks between the Acting President, Dr Goodluck Jonathan and the militants, who sources said are gradually loosing interest, following the highhandedness of the former Chairman of the Programme, Gen. Godwin Abbe, who is also the former Minister of Defence.
The meeting with PAC, it was learnt, was part of efforts by the presidential advisory team to take holistic programme of action on the Amnesty programme as one of key priority areas of the Jonathanâ€™s acting presidency.
â€œThis may be preceding the meeting which is expected to be hold between Acting President, Goodluck Jonathan and the militantsâ€ he added, not being sure if they were actually going to meet with the Acting President or the advisory council will report back to the president on their behalf.
Govt committed to post-Amnesty
The meeting between the Acting President and the militant leaders had been speculated in some of the national dailies yesterday. The meeting is being convened to assure the ex-militants of governmentâ€™s commitments to the post-amnesty programme and the development of the Niger Delta region.
Speaking to Vanguard in confidence, an official in the Presidency noted that â€œlittle progress has been made in the implementation of the amnesty programmeâ€.
Prior to the yesterday’s meeting, the PAC leadership had also invited key members of the Presidential Amnesty, Disarmament and Rehabilitation committee for a similar talk with the aim of having an overview of the Federal Governmentâ€™s level of commitment, as far as the various aspects of the implementation are concern.
One of those who were invited to brief the Danjuma-led committee was the coordinator of the disarmament arm of the programme, Air Commodore Ararile who informed the committee on the progress so far made in his area and duty of assignment.
Although the outcome of the meeting which lasted for several hours was not immediately known, but a source at the meeting confirmed that the representatives of the militants were glad that the Federal Government was beginning to renew their confidence through this confidence building process, by affording stakeholders the opportunity to bare their minds on critical issues.