By Festus Ahon
ASABA—Former militant leader, David Owhegbe has accused the Special Adviser to the President on Amnesty Programme, Mr. Kingsley Kuku, of working with the Joint Task Force, Operation Pulo Shield, to deprive members of the Justice Group from being integrated into the Third Phase of the programme.
The Office of the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta, OSAPND, had in its response to a request by the group for integration and documentation into the amnesty programme, noted that OSAPND did not disarm ex-agitators.
“The core mandate of OSAPND is the rehabilitation and reintegration of ex-agitators based on the list forwarded to it by JTF as part of the Presidential Amnesty Programme. Pursuant to the above, you are hereby advised to direct your complaints regarding submission of arms, allocation of slots or documentation of names to the appropriate authority,” OSAPND had said in response in a letter by Adesuwa Okundaye.
But the JTF, in a letter from its headquarters, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State had directed the ex-agitators to the Office of the Special Adviser to the President on Amnesty Programme.
Reacting to the development in a chat with our correspondent in Oleh, Isoko South Local Government Area, Delta State, Ohwegbe explained that they were disarmed by the 3 Battalion, Effurun, emphasizing that they had been agitating for documentation and integration of their members into the Third Phase of the amnesty programme.
He said: “We have been on this issue for a long time and we have been pursuing it legally. But from the look of things, Kuku and the JTF are playing games with our documentation and integration into the phase three of the amnesty programme.
“We are good citizens of Nigeria and we embraced the amnesty programme because we want peace, but now they don’t want to give us our stipends. We wrote to Amnesty Office and they wrote to us that we should go to JTF, and now JTF is telling us to go to the Amnesty Office.”