The Federal Government has so far enlisted 30,000 former militants in the amnesty programme, the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta Affairs, Mr. Kingsley Kuku, said on Monday.
Kuku, who is also the Chairman of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, gave the figure in interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja.
He said that when the Federal Government proclaimed unconditional amnesty for the ex-militants on June 25, 2009, a total of 20,192 former agitators gave up their arms and ammunition and enrolled for the first phase of the amnesty programme.
Kuku said that the terms of the amnesty included the willingness and readiness of the agitators to surrender their arms on or before October 4, 2009, unconditionally renouncing militancy and signing of an undertaking to that effect.
“In return, the government pledged its commitment to institute programmes to assist the disarmament, demobilisation, rehabilitation and reintegration of the former agitators.
“At the expiration of the 60-day grace period on October 4, 2009, a total of 20,192 Niger Delta ex-agitators had surrendered large number of arms and ammunition to the Federal Government and accepted the offer of amnesty.
“And pursuant to the letter and spirit of the Amnesty Proclamation, the Federal Government instituted a Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration (DDR) package for those who accepted the offer of amnesty on or before the expiration date.
“Another 6,166 were added in November 2010 to constitute a second phase of the programme to bring the number of persons enlisted in the Presidential Amnesty Programme to 26,358,’’ Kuku said.
The presidential aide said the Federal Government approved inclusion of another 3,642 former militants, totaling 30,000 in October, 2012.
He said the Presidential Amnesty Office (PAO) was committed to funding the disarmament process of 3,642 former militants, newly enrolled for the third phase of the amnesty programme.
According to him, the purpose of the process is to reconcile the disarmament record of the former agitators in the third phase of the amnesty programme.
“This is because they have surrendered their arms to military formations and security agencies.
“The process is being budgeted for by President Goodluck Jonathan and the Presidential Amnesty Programme is mandated to carry out the disarmament exercise,’’ Kuku said.
Get more trends like this
Subscribe to our mailing list and get latest Nigeria trends in your inbox.