Don’t scrap amnesty programme, ex-militants tell Buhari

President-elect, Maj. Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (retd.)The Niger Delta Salvation Group, on Tuesday, urged President-elect Muhammadu Buhari, to resist the temptation of scrapping any of the interventionist programmes including the amnesty scheme initiated by the late President Umaru Yar’Adua.

The national coordinator of the group, Victor Tamarapreye, said this in response to the outcome of the March 28 presidential election, which President Goodluck Jonathan of the Peoples Democratic Party lost.

Tamarapreye explained that members of the group, which is a new coalition of ex-agitators, have been watching events before, during and after the last general elections.

The group said, while its members had reservations about the transparency of the election which led to Jonathan’s defeat, they respected his decision to concede defeat, just as they were willing to support him should he decide to seek legal redress.

Tamarapreye said, “As for the ‘President-elect,’ we want him and his party, the APC to note that we are watching carefully their plans and mission for the Niger Delta.

“We want them to recall the recent history of the region when crises led to disruption of Nigeria’s oil production capacity and inevitably affected the income accrued to federal, state and local governments.

“That was because of decade-old marginalisation of the region and her people, who are the chicken that lays the golden eggs.

“In the past few years, some form of peace and stability has returned to the region largely because of the interventionist policies of the Yar’Adua-Jonathan Presidencies. The policies led to such laudable programmes and agencies such as the Niger-Delta Ministry, the Amnesty Programme and the likes.”

Members of the group said they were proud of the outgoing President Jonathan for his statesmanship and for putting the interest of Nigeria above his own.

It, however, said it would be counter-productive for the incoming administration to marginalise the Niger Delta region as punishment for voting the Peoples Democratic Party during the last elections.

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