The Federal government has been urged to dismiss the idea to scrap the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), designed to integrate ex-agitators back into the society in the Niger-Delta region.
The Deputy President of the Senate Senator, Ovie Omo-Agege described the move as premature and ill-timed and was capable of truncating the fragile peace in the region.
Omo-Agege who made the call to the Executive also charged people in the region to protect the institution by demanding for accountability from her leaders especially those placed to supervise over the affairs of special intervention agencies in the region.
Senator Omo-Agege said people of the region must evolve a new and workable narrative to hold leaders accountable to the people and the Federal government over releases made to the various agencies meant to improve the security of the area and the quality of lives of the people.
Senator Omo-Agege said this in Abuja at the weekend when he played host to a socio-political organization, New Era Forum, Yomi Odunuga, Special Adviser, Media and Publicity, to the Deputy President of the Senate quoted him in a release he signed.
He said this has become necessary as leaders in the region have failed, having been unable to judiciously utilise funds released for the development of the region.
In recent times there has been a debate for either the scrapping or retention of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, introduced by late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua in 2009 for Niger Delta militants who had engaged in the armed struggle for a better deal in the oil-rich region.
According to Omo-Agege: “I don’t think that the timing is right for the Amnesty Programme to be scrapped. We have challenges right now in the North East, the ravages of Boko Haram, banditry in North West and North Central.