Published On: Mon, Nov 14th, 2016

Allow FG-PANDEF peace process work, Boroh advises Niger Delta youths.

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Press Statement.

14th November, 2016

The Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programmme, Brigadier General Paul Boroh (Rtd) has advised youths in the Niger Delta  to allow the on-going peace process between the Federal Government and  the people of the Region to work.

While  reacting to a spate of attacks on oil facilities despite the November 1, 2016 commitment to dialogue by both Government and the Pan Niger Delta Elders Forum (PANDEF) General Boroh said from his experiences in the United Nations, Sierra Leone and Liberia, the peace process can be slow, and even sometimes appear frustrating, but that like the court, it can and will deliver  justice. He added that  “While dialogue and the peace process can  be tasking, exerting and quite expensive, it remains far cheaper compared to violence.”

He said most of the 16-Point list presented to Government by PANDEF  need careful study and painstaking  negotiations adding “I therefore advise  the youths to give the PANDEF a chance especially when it comprises all the broad sections and interests in the Niger Delta including youths, elders, traditional rulers, intellectuals and professionals. This presents the best opportunity to make the case for the development  of the Region rather than a relapse of the peace process which would negatively affect all and scare away investors including those  from the Niger Delta who might  want to locate businesses in the area. If there are youths who want to contribute to the PANDEF list or have suggestions, they should do so with words not  with explosives”

General Boroh admitted that the vandalism of oil facilities hurt the economy, but added that “ It also hurts all Nigerians irrespective  of age, gender, religion or region.  In fact, it hurts the Niger Delta more because such destruction is on the area’s soil with negative implications for farming, fishing, the environment and living in peace.”

He said   the Presidential Amnesty Office  apart from the  Amnesty beneficiaries, has also made scholarships available to 1,800 youths from impacted communities. Likewise, he said, the Office promises that with better funding, the Programme will extend its agriculture training and empowerment to other Niger Delta youths.

General Boroh who is also the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta  said the youths are the future of the country and therefore have a stake in building a future of peace, development.

He again cautioned beneficiaries of the Presidential Amnesty Programme to shun violence and resist the temptation from  politicians to recruit them  as thugs during elections including the scheduled December 10 rerun elections in Rivers State. The Amnesty Coordinator warned that any beneficiary who violates the amnesty oath would not only be prosecuted but also delisted from the Programme and all his   entitlements stopped. He added that if such culprits are leaders of camps who took amnesty, the stipends, entitlement and support for all members of such camps will be discontinued.

 

Owei Lakemfa

Media & Communication Consultant

Presidential Amnesty Programme

 

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