By Emma Ujah, Abuja Bureau Chief
The Federal Government, will today, publicly destroy the arms and ammunition submitted to it by Niger Delta former agitators, who accepted the amnesty programme in 2009.
The Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta, Mr. Kingsley Kuku, who made the disclosure in Abuja, yesterday, said the historic exercise scheduled to take place at Lokpanta, a boundary town on the outskirts of Enugu, will bear testimony to the success of the amnesty programme.
A total of 295, 203 ammunition, 2, 909 weapons, 1,853, UXO, D-caps and dynamites, and 3,454 magazines will be destroyed in the exercise to be conducted by the Nigerian military
Mr Kuku added “the public destruction of the recovered arms and ammunition will further enhance the efforts of President Goodluck Jonathan to consolidate on peace, safety and security in the Niger Delta using the instrumentality of the Amnesty Programme.”
He said the destruction of the arms and ammunition was also necessary to avoid their acting as a destabilising influence in the country.
It will be recalled that as a step towards resolving the protracted crisis in the Niger Delta, the Federal Government, then under the leadership of the Late President, Alhaji Umaru Yar’Adua, on June 25, 2009, proclaimed unconditional amnesty for agitators in the zone.
The terms of the amnesty included the willingness and readiness of agitators to surrender their arms, unconditionally renounce militancy and sign an undertaking to this effect.