…Says FG should let sleeping dogs lie
By Chioma Onuegbu
LEADER of ex-agitators, in Akwa Ibom State, and self-styled General Nico Sintei has warned that scrapping the Niger Delta Presidential Amnesty Programme, PAP, would force the beneficiaries to return to the creeks.
Sintei who gave the warning Monday in Uyo, while reacting to the alleged plan to scrap the amnesty programme, explained that majority of the beneficiaries of the programme don’t have any other source of income besides the sixty-five thousand (N65,000,00) naira monthly allowance.
He stressed that any right-thinking Nigerian that appreciates the peace, unity and progress of the country would not wish for the only laudable programme that solved the problem of militancy and attacks on oil installations in the region to be scrapped.
He wondered why the issue of the Niger Delta amnesty programme should be a cause for concern to the Nigeria government instead of focusing on how to put an end to the worsening security situation in the country.
His words, “The Federal government should not tamper with the Amnesty Programme if it really wants to continue to enjoy the oil production from the region. The programme is the only thing that has sustained the peace in the Niger Delta region, it helped to stop militancy and youth restiveness in the region, and attack on oil installations.
“And the only things the Niger Delta ex-agitators have benefitted from the programme is the Sixty-five thousand naira PAP monthly allowance. Also, some of us were sent to School, some have been trained in various skills. Is that too much?
“Why is that the paltry N65,000 allowance few youths from the region that lays the golden egg are receiving from the programme has become a problem? And as far as I am concerned It was the best thing that late President Yar’Adua did for Nigeria. Other solutions failed but PAP worked.
‘Let them understand that the amnesty programme can only stop when they stopped drilling oil from this region; the day we stop feeding this country. We were not told that the programme has expiry date, so it cannot be scrapped. Therefore I advise that they should let sleeping dogs lie.
“The federal government should understand that those advising it to scrap the programme do not like the existing peace in the Niger Delta region, they don’t mean well for Nigeria.
“I am not saying these things because I am a beneficiary of the programme. But as a leader of ex-agitators in Akwa Ibom, I am saying that if they scrap the programme, they are simply asking them to go back to militancy or the creeks. And you can imagine what the consequences will be.
” Today Boko Haram insurgents, bandits are killing innocent citizens, in Kaduna, all over the country, and the government has not done anything to put an end it, they are looking for how to stop Amnesty programme and add more problems into the system.
The Self-styled General lamented the lack of basic social amenities in the region even areas where the region has oil fields due to insensitivity and neglect by the Nigeria government.
“In those areas that we have oil fields, people the same source of water people use for bathing is the source they drink from. So I felt provoked when I read that there is a plot to scrap PAP. what are their reasons? Why can’t they focus on stopping the ceaseless killings by insurgents ?, He questioned