15 October 2011
Chief Dr Judith Burdin Asuni (the Omotoyibo Rovie of
) is the executive director Academic Associates Peace Work, a nongovernmental organization. She has been in Ughelli Kingdom since 1971 and has been actively involved in driving the peace process in the Niger Delta region. In this interview, she argues that until some fundamental issues are addressed in the region, lasting peace might continue to elude the area. Nigeria
She also called for a review of the post amnesty programme for it to effectively achieve its goals of reformation and rehabilitation.
You have been at the forefront of the drive for peace in the Niger Delta. At the moment there is an amnesty programme in place for ex militants. What is your assessment of the exercise?
I think the amnesty was a good initiative in trying to bring peace to the Niger Delta region. You remember when late President Yar Adua started it, there was high rate of kidnapping, bunkering, oil production was very low, the income to the country was very low the idea was good. There is an international standard of how to deal with DDR process. Unfortunately a lot of these steps were not followed.
Until you address fundamental issues in the Niger Delta, you are never going to achieve sustainable peace.