Factual Pursuit of Truth for Progress
The Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has urged the Federal Government to jettison plans to shut down the Presidential Amnesty Programme, PAP.
The governor, who spoke when he received the Interim Administrator, PAP, Maj. Gen. Barry Ndiomu (retd), in Government House, Yenagoa, warned that any attempt to shut down the programme would plunge the region into another round of unrest.
He argued that PAP had yet to achieve its mandate saying even the disarmament phase of the scheme had not been fully realised as arms and ammunition were still in the wrong hands in the Niger Delta.
In his words, “The amnesty programme has three legs. The first is disarmament, a process, said to be completed; then the demobilisation leg and finally, the reintegration leg. On the issue of disarmament, can we completely convince ourselves that we have been able to completely disarm the Niger Delta of armaments in our region?
“So while we are in the final stage of reintegration, you and I know that within our Niger Delta, we still have very many arms, non-state actors are in possession of arms, well that has been said to be completed but I like to state clearly here that, that process is not 100% completed.
“Now I’ll like to look more on the issue of reintegration. The reintegration is more like a continuous process of building human capacity and for you to continue to build human capacity, it follows that the amnesty programme must be on and I’m happy while listening to you that you have already taken that up.
“It will be very wrong for anybody at this point to bring the amnesty programme to a close. That will amount to insensitive to what is going on in the region”.