The Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), retired Brig.-Gen Paul Boroh, has said that stranded ex-agitators who graduated from a technical institute, in West Indies, will return to Nigeria on Monday.
The ex-militants were trained in underwater welding at the CDA Technical Institute of the West Indies in St. Kitts and Nevis. But they ran out of funds to return home and had blamed PAP for their ordeal.
Mr Owei Lakemfa, Head, Media and Communications, PAP, in Abuja on Thursday, quoting Boroh explained that the students, who graduated in August had yet to return because French authorities insisted that they obtain transit visas which were not available in the West Indies.
“Arrangements have been completed to bring them back on Sept. 19,’’ he promised..
Boroh added: “ Some students had complained about a six-week delay in their In-Training-Allowances or delay in returning home.
“Such minor delays should not be a basis for protests or agreeing to be used to write frivolous petitions against the programme.
“The Amnesty Office has sent all such allowances and any delay being experienced is due to the process of foreign exchange transfer and not the PAP because the programme does not owe school fees.
“What is required of you, the students, is for you to study and return to contribute to the development of the Niger Delta region and the country.’’
He urged students under the scholarship scheme to protect the programme rather than endanger it.
He said rather than listen to people who sought to politicise the programme for private gains, the students should seek creative means of contributing to the stabilisation of the Niger Delta and sustenance of the overseas scholarship programme.
The coordinator said while crisis and insecurity in the Niger Delta would affect the economy of the country, the people in the region would be more affected.
He said if the region remained unstable, investors would not be comfortable investing in it.
The coordinator commended the Imo Government for facilitating the disarmament of hundreds of militants in the state.
He urged the state government to follow through with the full reintegration of the ex-agitators into the society as the Federal Government alone could not execute such a programme.
Boroh also called on other state governments to emulate Imo and Benue state governments which were conducting such exercises to ensure peace, stability and development in the country.