€1m for settlement of repentant, surrendered militants – Presidential C’ttee

niger delta militants

Presidential Committee on Small Arms and Light Weapons on Sunday said European Union (EU) has provided over 1 million Euro for training and settlement of surrendered militants under the amnesty programme.

A member of Presidential Committee, Air Commodore Joseph Adeleke disclosed this shortly after inspecting 364 weapons surrendered by repentant cattle rustlers in Katsina state.

Adeleke said the purpose of coming was to document the weapon, track it and approach the manufacturing country to get help to ease life of the people.

According to him, “the training and settlement was under an alternative livelihood project to make the surrendered militants self employed.

“We have chosen 5 states in the North West which includes Katsina, Kebbi, Sokoto, Zamfara and Kaduna and 2 states in the South South – Cross River and Akwa Ibom for the projects.

“The surrendered militants would receive training on vocational skills, provided with equipment and secure business permissions.

“We initiated the project so that surrendered militants will not carry arms again. We will train them on skills acquisition and provide them seed grants to set up businesses.”

Adeleke said the alternative livelihood project will be implemented by the presidential committee and United Nation Development Programme (UNDP).

He said very soon, the committee would commence biometric data of all surrendered militants in the seven states to benefit from the programme.

Air Commodore Adeleke commended state government for inititating amnesty programme with cattle rustlers, saying the move demonstrated commitment of Governor Aminu Bello Masari to ensure peace and protection of lives and properties.

Similarly, the programme coordinator of the committee, Dickson Orji said after the training, the repentants would be provided with seed funds to start a new life.

“Because we don’t want them to go back and carry arms, we will put them through a training process – farming, artisans – then provide them with seed funds to begin a new life. Because we have some states paying monthly. We want to educate them, you can’t pay monthly. Supposing your regime ends what do you do because it is very dangerous to allow them go back,” he said.

Earlier, permanent secretary in the office of the secretary to the government of the state, Sulieman Yakubu Safana commended the presidential committee for its encouragement and introduction of alternative livelihood project for surrendered militants.

Safana said government would fulfil its commitment towards successful implementation of the amnesty programme.