By Dayo Johnson
Akure—ONDO State government weekend clarified that only armed militants from the riverine areas of the state would benefit from the amnesty package that was unveiled last week.
It pointedly said that the exercise was not an empowerment programme or political patronage.
The state government in conjunction with the Presidential Amnesty Office last week, opened a fresh window of grace for militants who have yet to submit the arms since the inception of the Amnesty programme in 2009.
Governor Rotimi Akeredolu had while the militants gave a 21- days period of grace to militants in the creeks to turn in their arms or face the wrath of the security agencies.
The chairman of the Media and Public Enlightenment sub-committee of the programme, Donald Ojogo in a statement issued in Akure assured all armed youths to imbibe the code of ethics of the process.
Ojogi said stories about the allocation of slots to politicians were unfounded and distracting.
Ojogo, who doubles as the State Commissioner for Lands and Housing said the clarifications became necessary because the Amnesty package for the militants was a product of the determination of the State governor to ensure peace.
“We emphasise at this point that stories such as the allocation of slots to politicians were distractions just as they are wholly unfounded. For one, the commitment of the state governor to this programme underscores his determination for peace and security in the riverine areas of the State.
“The State Amnesty Committee therefore wishes to allay such fears that have been erroneously expressed in certain quarters.
“This is a programme that was brought about by the combination of strong political will, interagency/intergovernmental synergy and meticulous planning, among others.
“As such the Committee is prepared to give whatever it takes to make the process diligent, transparent and applaudable.
“The governor had made it clear that the exercise is neither an empowerment programme nor political largesse or patronage. That is the beacon of our activities, no more, no less.”
Meanwhile, some armed youths who are targets have expressed readiness to submit their arms and embrace peace.