As militants continue to destroy oil facilities in the Niger Delta, the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta Affairs, retired Gen. Paul Boroh has warned the perpetrators that the Federal Government will not reward criminals with medals under the guise of seeking peace.
This has come just at the Amnesty Coordinator has indicated his resolve to move into the creeks of the Niger Delta to hold peace talks with aggrieved individuals and groups to end the bombings that have substantially cut oil output and slowed Nigeria’s income in recent weeks.
Although the Federal Government is not dangling a fresh amnesty for the militants, the Special Adviser explained that the aim of going to the creeks was to persuade the militants to stop further assaults on oil facilities and security agencies to prevent a crackdown by the Federal Government.
“The whole aim of my relocation to the Niger Delta creeks is to enable me to identify the aggrieved individuals and groups and hold extensive discussions with them on the need to keep the peace since the government is working hard to put things right in the Niger Delta and other parts of Nigeria,” the Presidential Amnesty Programme Coordinator said last night.
“From available records, the Federal Government has not reneged on its amnesty package to the region and is working hard to improve the infrastructural needs of the Niger Delta, one of them being the Calabar-Lagos Coastal Railway which is already captured in this year’s budget.
“I therefore feel that is wrong for any individual or group to begin to launch attacks on oil installations and military personnel under the guise of fighting the Federal Government. Those who are perpetrating the crime should not that the government will not reward them for that act of destruction,” he said.
Boroh asked those involved in the renewed acts of economic sabotage against Nigeria to retrace their steps or be ready for the consequences of such criminality, which has no basis whatsoever in the status of the region.
He said the Federal Government’s amnesty programme would not be extended to the new agitators.
“There is no plan to go back on the Amnesty Programme of the Federal Government and all men of goodwill in the Niger Delta should do all they can to support President Muhammadu Buhari’s peace and development effort in the region.
“Let it be made known that no amnesty programme lasts forever and that the one in the Niger Delta cannot be elastic. The programme had a set deadline which had since expired but the President graciously extended it and put an exit strategy in place to cater for the interest of all,” Boroh, who handled the UN-backed peace and conflict resolution in Liberia and Sierra Leone, said.
He said, “Any individual or group that engages in criminal destruction of economic facilities in the Niger Delta under the guise of militancy should understand that there are dire consequences for such acts and that the law enforcements agents will not fold their hands and watch them do so.”
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