By Anayo Okoli
Umuahia â€” TO give effect to the amnesty granted kidnappers last week, Governor Theodore Orji of Abia State has inaugurated the state Amnesty Central Working Committee, ACWC, and Disarmament and Camp Management Committees, DCMC.
The committees are to work to ensure the speedy realisation of the amnesty programme.
The 14-member ACWC is headed by the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Umeh Kalu, and the committee is to oversee all activities pertaining to the amnesty programme.
The DCMC is made of eight members and is headed by the Special Adviser on Security, Col. Ezechi Kanu. It will handle the management of the camps where the arms are to be submitted for proper documentation.
There are three designated centres where the arms are to be dropped and registered.
The two committees have military and police officers, some state commissioners, other notable people and journalists as members.
Inaugurating the committees Monday, Governor Orji explained that government resorted to amnesty because wars and crisis could always be settled on the conference table, especially now that the repentant kidnappers have indicated their willingness to lay down their arms and embrace peace.
According to the governor, since the announcement of the amnesty programme last Sunday, repentant kidnappers in the state have been responding positively.
Chief Orji, who said he would not want the amnesty to fail, noted that kidnapping had a very negative impact on the state, saying that if the programme succeeded in Abia, it would become a model for other South-East states having the same problemÂ to emulate.
Task before members
Orji charged the committee members to be diligent in their assignment and advised the security agencies to bear in mind that they were pursuing peace.
He urged them not to attack the kidnappers, stressing that it was only when the amnesty failed that they could use force.
He also called for cooperation by both the security personnel and the repentant kidnappers to ensure the success of the assignment.
In his response, on behalf of the other members, the chairman of the ACWC, Mr. Umeh Kalu, thanked the governor for picking them and promised that they would ensure the success of the programme.