By Joshua Williams
Deputy President of the Senate, Ovie Omo-Agege, has called on the Federal Government to put aside the alleged plans to scrap the Presidential Amnesty Programme for ex-agitators in the Niger Delta region.
This came even as he charged the people of the region to come up with a new narrative about holding leaders in the region accountable.
Omo-Agege disclosed this in a statement titled: ‘Why amnesty programme shouldn’t be scrapped now – Omo-Agege’, which was issued by his media aide, Yomi Odunuga, in Abuja, when he hosted a socio-political organisation, the New Era Forum.
Omo-Agege described the alleged move to scrap the programme as premature and ill-timed, adding that taking such an action would truncate the fragile peace in the region.
Omo-Agege said, “I don’t think that the timing is right for the amnesty pogramme to be scrapped. We have challenges right now in the North-East through the ravages of Boko Haram as well as banditry in North-West and North-Central.
“Those are enough challenges already in this country. I don’t believe that this is the time to reawaken the agitation of militancy in the Niger Delta region.
“It is my hope and expectation that the policymakers, who are around Mr President, will convey this to Mr President that to the extent that there is any such plan at this time, it is premature and ill-timed.
“That is not to say that this programme must stay in perpetuity, but we don’t believe that the goals set have been completely achieved.”
According to him, leaders in the region have failed, having been unable to judiciously utilise funds released for the development of the region.