Ex-militants warn Buhari as Amnesty students remain stranded

Notable ex-militant leaders and former commanders of the Movement for the Emancipation of Niger Delta, have appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to come to the rescue of the students studying abroad under the Federal Goverment's Presidential Amnesty Programme before violence returns to the Niger Delta region.

Niger Delta Militants

Notable ex-militant leaders and former commanders of the Movement for the Emancipation of Niger Delta, have appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to come to the rescue of the students studying abroad under the Federal Goverment's Presidential Amnesty Programme before violence returns to the Niger Delta region.

Acting under the auspices of Leadership Peace and Cultural Development Initiative, the ex-militant leaders in a letter signed by their President, Pastor Reuben Wilson, urged Buhari to urgently address issues within the Presidential Amnesty Office.

Last week, the President of the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC), Worldwide, Udengs Eradiri, had said about 6,000 Niger Delta students are being delisted by institutions and facing ejection from their homes after the government failed to pay their due fees.

Some youths had reportedly threatened to begin attacks on oil facilities to compel the government to settle its financial obligations to the students.

In the letter, they said the amnesty, which was initiated by late President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua, helped increase Nigweria's crude oil production and should not be stopped now.

"Thus, with the acceptance and commencement of the programme, our production of oil drastically increased from a paltry 900,000 barrel a day to over 2,000,000 barrels a day while issues of kidnapping and pipeline destruction became minimal," the letter read.

"This upsurge brought about increase in our national income. We have, however, acknowledged that with the exit of former President Goodluck Jonathan, the tenure of the former Chairman of PAP came to an end."

Wilson said the students need funds quickly.

"Following late release of funds, the former amnesty boss was unable to pay beneficiaries of the programme their allowances and tuition fees," he further stated.

"As a result, the students and delegates are owed for three months.

The ex-militants noted that it recognizes the challenges facing the new government but expected a different approach.

"However, given the nature of this programme and particularly our recent past, one would have expected that an interim measure, such as was done in the INEC office, would have been instituted to keep the programmes running until such a time Mr. President will find a suitable and qualified person to head the office. "

Yar'Adua’s Amnesty programme had brought peace to the troubles Niger Delta region and crushed militancy.

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