A federal official, Thursday, gave reasons why the in-coming Gen. Muhammadu Buhari’s administration should not contemplate scrapping the Presidential Amnesty Programme for ex-militants in the Niger Delta region, warning that any attempt to terminate the programme will ignite fresh unrest in the region.
Special Adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan on Niger Delta and Chairman of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, Mr. Kingsley Kuku, who gave the warning in a chat with journalists shortly after a meeting to review activities of the programme in Abuja, noted that the Amnesty Programme is rather a moral and not a political programme, which could be easily tampered with by the in-coming government.
He said: “I know what is beautiful about the outgoing government and programmes of this government that the in-coming government should not tamper with.
“The basic one is the Presidential Amnesty Programme. They know that this is a laudable programme. Any negative touch on this programme will affect thousands of lives. We know where we are coming from. We are coming from a background of 685, 000 barrels per day of oil exploration; it was that bad in May 2008. Today, we have 2.2 million barrels, 2.3million barrels and sometimes beautifully 2.6 million barrels production per day.
“So, Nigeria at a period like this when the price of crude oil is this low, with production very high, still at this point comparing that to 2009, we would not love to experience pre-2009 in the Niger Delta. The Niger Delta is calm, it is peaceful, it is stable, courtesy of the Presidential Amnesty programme in terms of funding and monitoring.
“We expect that the in-coming government will positively review and get it better for our people.”