By Soni Daniel
The Presidency has expressed concern over alleged plans by some youths claiming to be repentant Niger Delta militants to invade Abuja with a view to demonstrating against their non-inclusion in the amnesty package of the Federal Government.
The youths, most of who were said to have already arrived the capital territory from various Niger Delta states, were reported to be claiming to have been invited by the Amnesty Office of the Presidency for documentation as part of the condition for their integration into the programme, which ended over three years ago.
But worried by the development, the Amnesty Office, weekend, dissociated itself from the claims of the former fighters, saying that it had not invited any individual or group for any documentation since the office was no longer admitting for the programme.
Head of Media and Communications of the Amnesty Office, Mr. Daniel Alabrah, said that there was no plan to admit more persons to the amnesty programme.
He said: “We have discovered that their plan is to storm the National Assembly to demand inclusion in the amnesty programme even after the window granted by Mr. President had since closed. We insist that there will be no further inclusion beyond the 30,000 beneficiaries already captured in the programme and condemn any move that encourages unengaged youths in the region to demand inclusion through ill-advised agitations and protests.
“The Amnesty Office aligns itself with the outcome of the Third Phase verification exercise conducted by the Air Vice Marshall James Gbum-led committee set up by the Chief of Defence Staff.
“The committee did a thorough job and we are satisfied with the outcome of the verification exercise, which resulted in the inclusion of an additional 3,642 youths in the programme, following a Presidential directive. Payment of the monthly stipends of these youths has since commenced having been properly verified by the committee.”
The Amnesty Office urged security agencies to continue to be alive to their responsibilities and take appropriate actions to stop any individual or group that foments trouble in Abuja or in the Niger Delta region under the guise of demanding inclusion in the amnesty programme.