…we have no powers to include you- Amnesty office
By Festus Ahon & Ochuko Akuopha
OLEH – EX-MILITANTS under the aegis of Justice Group, have decried the continued delay in the documentation and integration of over 3,000 of their members into the phase three of the Presidential Amnesty Program.
The ex militants in a statement by their leaders, self styled ‘Gen’ David Owhegbe and ‘Gen’s Marshall Atake, said: “We duly surrendered our arms at 3 Battalion of the Nigerian Army, Effurun in June, 2011 and we are wondering why we are still being excluded from the amnesty program.
“Upon a meeting held on 15 May, 2018, between the leaders of Justice Group and the Coordinator of the Amnesty Program, Prof. Charles Dokubor, it was resolved that our documentation and integration into the amnesty program would be effected within two months. Since then nothing has been done about it.
“The Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osibanjo has written to the amnesty office that members of the Justice Group should be included in the amnesty programme.
“We are appealing to the Federal Government to prevail on the amnesty office to include us in the program to enable us enjoy equal rights as ex-agitators in phases one and two of the amnesty program”.
Contacted, Special Assistant (Media) to the Special Adviser to the president on Amnesty program, Mr Murphy Ganagana said the Amnesty office has no powers to enlist anybody or group of persons into the program, adding that a committee was set up to disarm and process the enlistment of the ex militants into the program.
He said the budgetary provision of the Amnesty office is to cater for the 30,000 persons already enlisted into the program, saying it was only the President that has the powers to make a proclamation to include persons into the program with a budgetary provision.