The Federal Government has concluded arrangements to extend the amnesty programme to additional 3,642 beneficiaries from the Niger Delta region of the country to bring the total number of beneficiaries to 30,000.
Special Adviser to the president on Niger Delta Affairs and the Chairman of the Amnesty programme, Kingsley Kuku said this in Arogbo kingdom, Ese-Odo Local Government area of Ondo State.
Kuku spoke at a rally organised in support of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, governorship candidate in the state, Chief Olusola Oke
According to him a memo to that effect had been presented to President Goodluck Jonathan for approval before the end of September. He however said that ”the expansion of the scheme to accommodate the beneficiaries would however be subject to the approval of the President.
Kuku said the expansion was sequel to the agitation from those that were not considered in the first phase of the programme. “There is agitation going on in the Niger Delta and I have always been at the fore front of the clamour that the amnesty programme has to close, the boys are unrelenting and the security agencies have collected their arms.
“The only option opened to us is to return their arms, so if we are not going to return their arms, they should be included in the programme one way or the other.
“So my office and that of the National Security Adviser have met and forwarded a memo to the President to consider the final inclusion of 3642 persons to the present 26,368 to make it 30000.
On developing the riverrine area of the state, Kuku said the federal government had awarded various projects valued at over N10 billion in the Ijaw speaking area of Ondo state.
According to him, the projects, awarded through the instrumentality of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, include the N6.1 billion Arogbo bridge and the N4.7 billion Agadagba Obon-Arogbo township road.