Vice Chairman Senate Committee on Niger Delta Affairs, Nurudeen Abatemi-Usman, has said that the National Assembly will continue to support the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), in order to sustain the peace that has come to stay in the oil-rich region.
The Senator made the remark in a statement signed by Michael Jegede, his Special Assistant on Media and Publicity.
According to Abatemi-Usman, the Niger Delta amnesty, proclaimed by the latePresident Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, on June 25, 2009, remains the most genuine, valiant and profound effort made by any federal government, in tackling the agitation for fairness, equity and development in the Niger Delta since Nigeria attained Independence.
The Vice Chairman, who had led a delegation from the National Assembly on an oversight/inspection visit in September last year to the Afrika Union Aviation Academy in Mafikeng and the Flight Training Services in Midrand, South Africa, where 53 Niger Delta youths were being trained as pilots,expressed satisfaction over the proper implementation of the programme.
Commending President Goodluck Jonathan for ensuring the sustenance of PAP despite the demise of the initiator, Abatemi-Usman said: “It is exactly four years today (June 25, 2013) that President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua of blessed memory fully assisted by the then Vice President Goodluck Jonathan made the amnesty proclamation for Niger Delta militants, who were up in arms against the government, fighting the just cause of asking for justice and
equity for the region producing the resources that serve as the mainstay of the country’s economy. The programme as packaged by the Federal Government has helped in no small measure in the restoration of peace to the hitherto crisis-ridden region, where vandalization, kidnapping and all sort of criminal activities were the order of the day.”
He added that the amnesty programme has equally brought about stability in the economy, with crude oil production level increasing from 700,000 barrel per day to about 2.6 million barrels a day. According to him, the amnesty office under the dynamic leadership of Hon. Kingsley Kuku must be encouraged to build on the successes recorded so far in the running of the programme, which involves 30,000 Niger Delta youths.