9 September 2011
BY EMMA UJAH, ABUJA BUREAU CHIEF
ABUJA— The Special Adviser, S.A., to the President on Niger Delta and Chief Executive Officer of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, Kungsley Kuku, yesterday revealed that the programme had a lifespan of five years and would, therefore, end in 2015.
Briefing newsmen Kuku said: ”the implementation of the amnesty became effective in 2010 and so we are looking at 2010 to 2015. This is the planned duration”.
While speaking on the Presidential Amnesty Programme in President Goodluck Jonathan’s 100 days in office, he said a total of 19, 576 ex-combatants have passed through the non-violence training at the Obubra Camp, Cross River State.
The breakdown of the ex-militants who have been trained at Obubra Camp showed that
had the highest number of 7, 015; followed by Bayelsa 6, 793; and Delta 3, 320. Others were: Ondo 1, 303; Rivers State Edo 459, Imo 326, Akwa Ibom 188; and Cross River 172.
In all, 26, 358 ex-militants from across the Niger Delta are participating in the programme after the Presidential Amnesty Proclamation by late President Umaru Yar’Adua in 2009.
The S.A said that the non-violence training of the over 20, 000 ex-combatants who constitute the first phase would be concluded before the end of this month.
Hon. Kuku said that the amnesty programme has been a huge success having restores peace in the Niger Delta, resulting in a stable oil production which has raised output from a mere 700, 000 at the peak of the crisis in 2008/2009 to a current level of 2.5 million bpd.
“Amnesty has been a blessing more than any other programme of government in solving a critical problem like the Niger Delta problem. The amnesty prgramme is sacrosanct and with the kind of successes we have achieved,” he said.
In all, 3,482 Amnesty Programme’s beneficiaries are in 77 training centres within the country. The offshore placement quota thus far is as follows: South Africa, 933; Malaysia, 172; Russia, 64; Benin Republic, 42; Ghana, 197; Israel, 22; Sri Lanka 34; United State of America, 56; India 65; Poland, 21 and the Philippines 129