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Govt, not sincere with amnesty – Orji

 By Ben Agande

ABUJA—The President of the West African Action Network on Small Arms, Mr Dickson Nkemakonam Orji has accused the Federal Government of not being sincere with the implementation of the amnesty programme in the Niger Delta region, warning that the region could witness more violence if the programme is not properly handled.

Addressing newsmen in Abuja, weekend, to mark this year’s Global Week of Action Against Small Arms and Light Weapons proliferation across the world, Mr Orji said those militants who had submitted their arms as part of the amnesty programme are seen as guinea pig by those who refused to surrender their arms and how they are treated would determine the success or otherwise of the programme.

N-Delta people has lost confidence in govt

He maintained that the greatest problem militating against peace in the Niger Delta  region is the lack of confidence by the people on government, adding that unless government consciously work towards correcting this impression, nothing positive would be achieved.

“What some of the militants who have refused to hand over their arms are doing is to watch and see how those who have handed their arms are treated by government. So far, there is nothing to inspire confidence. Government must move fast or it will lose the Amnesty programme all together,” he said.

Govt must stop proliferation of arms

He pointed out that the programme was not thought through before it was implemented and urged the government to go back to the drawing board in order not to jeopardize the entire programme.

On the proliferation of small arms and light weapons in the country, Mr Orji said government must take firm steps to ensure that unauthorized persons do not have access to weapons and move towards mopping those already in wrong hands.

He said the proliferation of weapons in the country has contributed, in no small measure, to the increase in violent crime in the country, warning that no serious investor would be ready to invest his money in an environment that is unsafe and violence prone.


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