By Emma Amaize & Akpokona Omafuaire,
WARRI—NATIONAL Co-ordinator, Center for Peace and Environment Justice, CEPEJ, Warri, Delta State, Mr. Sheriff Mulade, has faulted the Presidential Amnesty Programme, PAP, for ex-militants in the Niger Delta and called on the Federal Government to review it.
Mulade told reporters in Warri that the programme, as presently conceived, without jobs for the participants, was defective, adding that it was the reason why youths trained therein, were causing problem in the region.
“We have observed that the Presidential Amnesty Programme for Niger Delta youths addresses capacity building through training and reintegration, without capability. However, it fails to tackle the fundamental issues of underdevelopment as well as environment pollution and degradation caused by the reckless activities of multinational oil companies, illegal bunkering and oil theft.”
According to him, most unrests and criminalities currently taking place in the region were the handiwork of unemployed/trained ex-militants not gainfully engaged since returning from the training.
He maintained that if governments at all level were committed to the fundamental issues confronting the region and ex-militants trained in environmental management, their services could be engaged to perform clean up exercises to achieve peace and restore the environment.
Mulade said: “It is regrettable that over the years, oil pollution had destroyed farmlands, waterways and various sources of drinkable water, thereby, impoverishing the local people and affecting their socio-economic well- being.”