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A-Ibom endorses amnesty for militants

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UYO—Akwa Ibom Government has endorsed the Federal Government’s amnesty for militants aimed at restoring peace and progress to the troubled Niger Delta.

Governor Godswill Akpabio, announced this when the Chief National Co-ordinator on Disarmament, Demobilisation and Re-integration (DDR) of Amnesty for Militants in Niger Delta, Air Vice Marshall Lucky O. Ararile, paid him a courtesy visit at Government House, Uyo.

Akpabio explained that as soon as militants surrendered their weapons to the government, drilling of crude oil by major oil companies would resume to restore economic activities of the region.

He pledged to set up state and local committees and called on local government chairmen in the state, as chief security officers in their respective domains, to join hands with the state government to quicken the peace process in all parts of the state.

The governor lauded the vision of the Yar’ Adua administration to pour oil on troubled waters of Niger Delta, adding that the task, when accomplished,  would single him out as a committed and patriotic leader surpassing the achievements of past administrations.

Akpabio announced setting up of collection and re-integration centres in the state for militants to submit their weapons “where all militants from here, which, I am afraid are not  many, shall be kept and trained to take to meaningful and rewarding form of existence.”

Earlier, Air Vice Marshall Ararile had pointed out that in addition to serving as the chairman of DDR, he was charged to work in the six states of the South–South geopolitical zone to grant amnesty to repentant militants.

He noted that,  “So far, we have visited other states of the South – South with Akwa Ibom being the third”.

Ararile said he would choose collection and re-integration centres at strategic areas in the state, adding that “all guns to be collected here shall be sent to Enugu, the central headquarters for destruction”.

At the collection centre, he explained, the militants would surrender their guns while they are to be trained at the reintegration centre in accordance with United Nation’s standard to lead goal-oriented and self–fulfilled lives of personal and social benefits.

He appealed to the militants to surrender arms and comply with the code of amnesty granted by the president which serves not only personal but collective national interests for economic viability.

Air Marshall Ararile pointed out that in the course of caring for the “new creatures”, the committee would work hand in hand with civilian coordinators who will takeover at the eclipse of the uniform men’s duration.

He used the opportunity to call for appropriate assistance from the state government for effective and enviable accomplishment of the federal government’s goal.

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