Senator James Manager, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Niger Delta Development Commission, on Monday said any plan to scrap the Amnesty Programme for ex-militants will end the continued existence of Nigeria as a nation.
There have been clamours for the scrapping of the programme by some individuals and groups recently because of the huge funds, they claimed. PUNCH reports that senator Manager insisted the programme must remain relevant adequately funded beyond 2015 if the country must continue to enjoy peace in the ever volatile oil-rich region.
He described those calling for the scrapping of the laudable programme as enemies of Nigeria in view of the fact that the country had been enjoying steady rise in crude production due to the engagement of youths from the area in productive activities.
He said,”The programme must continue in the Niger Delta if Nigeria must continue to exist as a nation. It can only be stopped when the development we are yearning for would have been fully achieved.
“Some of the restive youths hitherto perpetrating one form of atrocity or the other in the creeks, thereby disrupting oil exploration by the multi – national firms, are now being trained as pilots and engineers, among others, just to make them useful to the society.”
Manager, who is representing Delta South in the upper chamber, stated this in Warri during an empowerment programme he packaged for over 1,000 people from the eight local government areas of the senatorial district.
He said the amnesty programme may only be discontinued when the much needed developmental projects being executed by various intevention agencies has touched every sector of the of the economy in the areas.