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Expression 2012 Counts Gains Of Amnesty Programme So Far

The organizers of Expression 2012 has commended the federal government on the gains of the amnesty programme so far
The president, Association for Non-violence in Niger Delta, and organizer of Expression 2012, Mr. Kennedy Tonjor West stated this at a one day peace concert held at the Delta Hotels, Port Harcourt, on February 9, 2012.
He said the essence of the programme was to bring ex-agitators and non-violent people together for the celebrations of the peace enjoyed now in the Niger Delta, and to chart a road-map for accelerated development and sustenance of peace in Niger Delta.
“Today Expression 2012 has started the journey of celebrating ourselves and calling and looking at the environment and knowing what we need to contribute to bring about the speedy development that we all crave for,” he said.
He posited that the people in the Niger Delta have suffered a lot and “the only way we can get ourselves really organized is to be retrospective and determine for ourselves what we can do”.
Mr. West said after now, they are looking forward to organize a Niger Delta youth security summit, where “we will appraise the security situation in the Niger Delta and as well collaborate with the law enforcement agencies, so that we can bring the insecurity in the region to a barest minimum while we work with the government and every other parastatal”.
The coordinator decried the lack of development in the Niger Delta especially the bad condition of the East-West Road, the lack of courage to complete the Bodo-Bonny Road among others, while agreeing that it is only the amnesty that is working as of now.
He said there is peace in the region as the ex-agitators are traveling to so many parts of the world, thereby receiving education and more awareness and are now aware that it is not proper to terminate the life of anybody or destroy property because of what they want. They now know that they owe a responsibility to the society and are contributing their quota to the development.
On the issue of the federal government not doing much on the amnesty programme, Kennedy said that ex-agitators have surrendered their guns and all the leaders are now one, but wondered if the federal government have not fulfilled their own part.
“It is only on the amnesty that we can give pass mark to the federal government, on the funding of the amnesty, where the youths are being trained, but about the roads, we know that the implementation is slow are foot-dragging and not moving forward the way we want”, he added.
He appealed to the youths to give Mr. President sometime, knowing that the president has a broader constituency that is tasking and demanding, while appealing to others and political appointees to toe the line of Kingsley Kuku as he is doing his best to change the situation. He charged other ministries and agencies of government to be speedy in developing the Niger delta.
Also speaking, Dr. Felix Tuodolor, said as the youths voluntarily accepted the amnesty programme they should not be distracted from it and that the present peace in the Niger Delta should be sustained, they should try and defend the amnesty and the peace we are enjoying today. Asked how those who missed from the amnesty programme could still be included, Dr. Tuodolor, said it is the FG responsibility to address the issue because concentrating on only few persons will generate envy on the other people.
He said government should come with different and quality programmes that would develop the Niger Delta quickly or allow the people to control their resources.
In his speech, Ambassador Marvin Yorbana, the African Representative in the Assembly of youths, tasked the ex-agitators to support the present administration of Dr. Goodluck Jonathan and also defend the current peace that is sustained in the Niger Delta. He however, appealed to the federal government over those who lost out during the granting of the amnesty so that they could be integrated into the mainstream of the ongoing amnesty programme.
Highlights of the event include presentation of award to notable journalists, such as Segun Owolabi, Mammodo Akugha and Gbenga Aruleba, music and comedy. ####

Pius Dukor

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