By Jimoh Babatunde & Daniel Eteghe
Two hundred and twelve former militant departed the country, Thursday, for Ghana for offshore vocational training in industrial welding and fabrication techniques at the National Vocational Training Institute, NVTI, Ghana.
The team is the second batch of former militants to be trained outside the country as part of the ongoing reintegration phase of the Amnesty Programme. The first set of 38, was sent to South Africa for vocational training in marine related courses in December 2010 out of an estimated 1000 transformed former militants, who have been short listed to benefit from the similar training programme.
Speaking at a pre-departure briefing at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos, the Special Adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan on Niger Delta Matters, Mr Kingsley Kuku, said that the skills that will be acquired will empower the former militants both economically and mentally.
“The training will take place in 6 different city locations in Ghana namely; Kumasi, Winnaba, Kokomemele (Accra), Takoradi, Abetifi, and Biriwa.”
Kingsley Kuku said a critical success factor of the Amnesty Programme depends largely on the success of the reintegration phase “which has kicked off already with the allocation of trainees to centers across Nigeria and overseas.”
While commending President Jonathan for his commitment to the success of the Amnesty Programme which began after the proclamation of the Presidential pardon by late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, he said “Peace has returned to the Niger Delta and the vision President Jonathan’s peaceful region dotted with modern cities is gradually being realized.”
He added “Since the commencement of the Amnesty Reintegration phase in August 2010, more than 7,000 transformed ex_militants have been allocated to both local and offshore training centers with more than 2,000 allocated for education and vocational training offshore.
Kuku disclosed that more delegates will travel to countries such as Malaysia, Romania, U.K, U.S.A, Egypt, Poland, Netherlands, among others in the coming weeks to commence various type of training.