Our slots in Amnesty Programme for ex-militants were hijacked, Akwa Ibom says

Niger Delta militants

The state government complained to some Nigerian lawmakers.

Akwa Ibom Government said on Monday in Uyo that its slot in the Federal Government’s Amnesty Programme had been taken over by non-indigenes.

The Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Ita Udo, stated this during a one-day public hearing conducted by the House of Representatives Committee on Public Petitions on Monday in Uyo.

“I have a list of the beneficiaries of the ongoing Federal Government Amnesty Programme for ex-militants. It is shocking to note that most of the names of people enlisted in the programme for Akwa Ibom are not indigenes of the state.

“On daily basis, I receive ex-militants in my office complaining that they were not captured for the scheme,” Mr. Udo said.

He said the state government had, however, empowered youths, including ex-militants, through its agriculture empowerment programme.

Mr. Udo appealed to the committee to make sure ex-militants from the state are included in the programme.

The Special Adviser to the Akwa Ibom State Governor on Security Matters, Iniobong Ekong, said the state government had been spending a lot of money on youth empowerment schemes.

“It will not be acceptable for anybody that is not from Akwa Ibom to come and secure pipelines in our state when we have unemployed youths who know the terrain very well.

“Nigeria should not punish us for being a quiet and peaceful people. The ex-militants should be accommodated; what is good for the goose is also good for the gander,” Mr. Ekong said.

The Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice in Akwa Ibom, Ekpenyong Ntekem, thanked the committee for visiting the state on a fact-finding mission.

Mr. Ntekem assured the committee that the state government would continue to collaborate with the Federal Government in all empowerment programmes aimed building the capacity of the youth.

Earlier, the chairman of the committee, Uzo Azubuike, said the House received petitions from the people of Akwa Ibom complaining that the ex-militants from the state were excluded in the amnesty programme.

He said the House mandated the committee to visit the state after persistent complaints by a member, Robinson Uwak, who moved a motion for the inclusion of Akwa Ibom ex-militants in the programme.

(NAN)

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