The atmosphere in the boardroom of the new Presidential Amnesty office, Maitama, where about 30 ex-militants who have just been offered employment in Dubai, the United Arab Emirate (UAE), were being sent-forth, was charged with excitement.
The excitement in the hall was however mixed with anxiety as the ex-militants who had successfully completed a training programme in welding and fabrication, were in expectant mood and looking forward to a brand new life of gainful employment.
The amnesty officials who facilitated the empowerment of the youths were also anxious. Their anxiety, as was later averred to by the Special Adviser on the Niger Delta and chairman of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, Mr. Kingsley Kuku, stemmed from the big expectations from not just Nigerians who put them through the programme, but the international community, who would want to see what the militants will become.
Kuku admonished the youths on right ethical conduct in a foreign land, pointing out that visitors to foreign countries must conform with the laws and traditions of the host country. He told them that they would be on probation in the first six months while their conduct will determine whether their employment will be confirmed.
“The world is watching to see how you’ll perform. Today marks the beginning of a life you will be proud of. As you are going, know you are representing a spectrum of the country’s development. Alcohol is prohibited in UAE. Know the places you must go and the time you must be outside.
“Please, be careful about their women. Be very, very careful about their women. Don’t walk into trouble. Don’t walk up to a woman and start talking to her. Stay calm and be really, really sure if you have to. Just comply with the rules of the UAE. You are residents, so your wives can visit,” he said.
The amnesty boss gave the credit of the good fortunes of the youths to the support and latitude given by the president to the Amnesty Programme. “I want to say that I am baffled when Nigerians get too impatient with the president.
"The president has given the latitude to the Amnesty programme. That is why he takes the glory for this achievement. It is Mr. President we are celebrating today. The stabilization of the Amnesty Programme is the feat of Mr President,” he said.