Former militants in the Niger Delta region have expressed happiness over the state pardon granted to former governor of Bayelsa State, Chief Diepreye Alamieyeseigha by President Goodluck Jonathan, saying that the decision was in the best interest of Nigeria.
The former freedom fighters under the umbrella of Leadership Forum for Peace Building (LFPB) believe that with the pardon, Alamieyeseigha whom they said had suffered enough for his offences would contribute much more for the development of the country.
National President of LFPB, General Rueben Wilson, who stated this in a chat with newsmen in Port Harcourt, shortly after a meeting of leaders of former militant camps in the Niger Delta region, said the decision would not have come at a better time than now.
Wilson said, "The decision to give state pardon to former Governor Diepreye Alamieyeseigha wouldn't have come at a better time than now when Nigeria needs to consolidate on the gains of the after-effect of the amnesty programme those of us who were in the creeks and fighting for the development of our communities."
He said rather than crucify Jonathan over the decision, the president should be praised for his foresight, adding, "We should avoid sentiments on this matter. What the president has done in the best interest of this country."
The former freedom fighter, who said the former militant leaders, had during the meeting, condemned in very strong terms, the recent bus attack in Kano which led to the loss of many lives, urged the Boko Haram terrorists to retrace their steps and stop further disruption of the peace of the country.
Wilson said, "What they have continued doing is not good at all. We discussed the frequent attacks during our meeting and came to the painful conclusion that their main motive is to see how they can distract the president. We like to inform them that they are making a serious mistake.
"We do not know what they or their sponsors are gaining from these wanton killings. Fine, some northern leaders had told us that they will make Nigeria ungovernable for the president since they did not win the 2011 election. That is exactly what they are doing.
"But our message is simple: let them realize that this path leads to nowhere. They should embrace peace like we did and turn a new leaf so that Nigeria can make progress. We do not have any other country other than Nigeria."