By Tony Edike
ENUGU – THE large cache of arms and explosives recovered from militants under the Niger Delta Amnesty programme of the Federal Government, was yesterday destroyed at Lokpanta, near Enugu State.
The weapons include 1,798 rifles, 1,981 guns of various types, 70 rocket propelled grenades, 159 pistols and one spear recovered from Bayelsa, Edo and Delta states.
Speaking at the Headquarters of 82 Division of the Nigeria Army before moving to the destruction site, Presidential Adviser on Niger Delta and Chairman of Presidential Committee on Amnesty, Mr. Kingsley Kuku, said the destruction became imperative in order to show the success of federal government’s amnesty programme.
Kuku said: “The public destruction of the recovered arms and ammunition today (yesterday) has further shown the commitment of President Goodluck Jonathan to achieving lasting peace, safety and security in the Niger-Delta, using the instrumentality of the amnesty programme.”
He paid tribute to late President Umar Musa Yar’Adua for initiating the amnesty programme, adding that the destruction was also necessary to avoid their acting as a destabilising influence in the country.
He said: “Since the militants surrendered willfully to the amnesty programme, profound achie-vements had been recorded. Owing to the fresh impetus offered the programme by the President, safety and security have returned to the Niger Delta and Nigeria now produces about 2.3 million barrels of crude oil per day
“At the height of insurrection in the zone in 2008, Nigeria was producing an abysmally low 700,000 barrels per day.”