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Amnesty fraying around the edges
There is no doubt that the Niger Delta amnesty programme has so far been a resounding success. In the past four to six weeks there have been a series of incidents which point towards the frailties of the present amnesty process. When combined with specific signs of armed groups being approached to
'assist ' around the Bayelsa elections the question is not whether there will be instability but how much.
Given the many questions about follow up on the amnesty in the Niger Delta it is a considerable achievement that the cease-fire in the region continues to hold. Its main weakness continues to be a lack of direction on what happens after initial re-training (for those lucky enough to secure placement) and the growing ranks of disgruntled youths around the fringes of the program. In recent weeks fresh tensions have emerged with protests from a mixture of individuals who were active in 2008 but did not trust the Amnesty process and relative newcomers who predictably want to join an amnesty that offers a steady income (N65,000 per month) and the possibility for some of education opportunities beyond the reach of all but the wealthiest Nigerians.