By Gabriel Enogholase
IMMEDIATE past president of the Ijaw Youth Council, IYC, Dr. Chris Ekiyor, has said that over one year after the granting of amnesty by the Federal Government to repentant militants in the Niger Delta region, the amnesty programme was yet to be gazetted by the government.
He insisted that if the amnesty programme was not gazetted by the relevant authorities now, there may come a President, who would not be interested in the programme and may prosecute those currently enjoying the amnesty granted to them by the late President Umaru Yar’Adua.
Dr. Ekiyor, who is vying for the Patani/Burutu Federal Constituency seat in the House of Represntatives on the platform of the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, said that one of the first things he will do if elected was to sponsor a bill gazetting amnesty process.
According to him, “it may turn out that if a President comes, who is not interested in the amnesty programme, all those who are the beneficiaries of the amnesty process can be prosecuted. So, there is the urgent need to gazette it now.”
Ekiyor, who spoke with newsmen in Benin, yesterday, also called for an understanding between federal troops and militant leader, John Togo, saying “this is the only way to put an end to the suffering of the innocent people in the creeks of the Niger Delta, who daily are at the receiving end of the battle between the two.”
He insisted that the killing was uncalled for as those that died during the cross fire were innocent people.
On his interest in politics, he said that his desire to better the lot of his people has always been the driving force behind his various humanitarian and political moves.
He said that he considers nothing too much to invest in making life better for his down trodden people.
He stressed that on his assumption of office as a member of the National Assembly next year, he will participate actively in the enactment of laws that would go a long way in correcting the imbalance in the country and reducing the huge gap between the haves and the have not.