President Goodluck Jonathan has approved the inclusion of 3,642 ex- Niger Delta militants in the Presidential Amnesty Programme.
The new figure brings the total number of ex-militants undergoing reformation under the programme to 30,000.
It was learnt that the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta, Mr. Kingsley Kuku, had forwarded a memo to the President seeking his approval for inclusion of more ex-agitators in the programme.
The President was said to have approved Kuku’s request on Thursday and also instructed that the demobilisation exercise at the Obubra camp, Cross River State should commenced immediately.
Investigations revealed that the Amnesty Office had been making moves to reopen the Obubra camp.
It was learnt that the Federal Government granted inclusion of youths from five agitating groups in the programme.
They are 500 hundred youths were taken from the Itsekiri National Youth Council, 100 from the group led by the late John Togo and 200 from Lato group in the Bakassi Peninsula.
Others are groups of 200 and 842 from communities severely impacted and polluted by oil production activities in the region.
Youths from the Niger Delta, who were not included in the programme, had been called on Jonathan to include them in a third phase of the programme.
Kuku, who doubles as the Chairman of the Amnesty Programme, said there was no room for a third phase of the programme.
Head of Media and Communications of the Amnesty Office, Mr. Daniel Alabrah, he said he was at a meeting when our correspondent called him on the telephone for his reaction to the story.
However, when our correspondent called him an hour after, the repeated calls placed to his mobile telephone line indicated that it was either switched off or in an area outside network coverage.