Published On: Thu, Nov 24th, 2016

Amnesty sends ten for helicopter training, stress culture as tool for conflict resolution

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amnesty-office-logoPress  Statement.

Wednesday 23rd November, 2016

The Presidential Amnesty Programme is to deploy ten beneficiaries of the Programme for helicopter training. Speaking while receiving a delegation of the International Helicopter Flying School, Enugu in his Abuja office, the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta, Brigadier General Paul Boroh (Rtd.) said the training is part of the Programme’s Sustainable Reintegration Agenda and building the manpower needs of not just the Niger Delta, but also the country.

He said the helicopter training, amongst other programmes by the Amnesty Office, is a clear indication by the Federal Government under President Muhammadu Buhari’s leadership that it is committed to developing the Region.  He said they are also bold statements that this administration “is ready and determined to solve the Niger Delta crisis.”

General Boroh said in the past, there were doubts that the Presidential Amnesty Programme could be trusted to fulfill its obligations and meet its commitments, but that despite the economic challenges of the country, the Programme has won the trust of the people and beneficiaries.  He said the clearest statement of this administration’s commitment to ensuring the success of the Programme is its request to the National Assembly for virement to enable it sustain and fund the Programme’s immediate needs.

The Amnesty Coordinator said the meeting with the International Flying School management was to finalize the training agreement and ensure that due process is followed.  General Boroh, who has been involved in various amnesty programmes of the United Nations particularly in Sierra Leone and Liberia, said the Nigerian amnesty is unique and more comprehensive “We are now sustainably reintegrating beneficiaries into society. This is novel; it is work in progress and we are garnering experience, and the international community is learning from us”

General Boroh expressed optimism that the beneficiaries would not only excel in the training like  their counterparts who graduated with First Class and Second Class Upper degrees from local and international universities, but would also become helicopter instructors to fill a major  gap in the country.

Earlier, the leader of the delegation, Air Commodore Hyacinth Eze who is also the Managing Director of the Aeronautical Engineering and Technical Services said his organization was established by the Nigeria Air Force to develop the country’s capacity to conduct major maintenance of its aircraft and equipment. This he said has led to capacity building as well as saved the country the huge foreign exchange hitherto expended on such maintenance outside the country.

The Rector of the International Flying School, Air Commodore H.I. Yahaya said the School has trained fifty five helicopter pilots from the Armed Forces, Police and Yobe State. He said the School plans to expand its training scope in 2017 with stepped up training.

In another development, General Boroh said culture is a veritable tool of conflict resolution in the country. Speaking while receiving a delegation of the Ekpo Dance Drama Group led by former members of the House of Representatives, Hons Alims  Agoda and Patty Etete Inemeh, he said the tradition and customs  of a people play a central role in their lives and can be used to resolve conflicts. General Boroh said traditional conflict resolution methods remain useful and should be used to resolve modern day conflicts. He added: “We need to revive our traditions and customs and use them to resolve the challenges we face”

The Amnesty Coordinator said the Federal Government wants to resolve the Niger Delta crisis as quickly as possible. He urged the Region to take advantage of this by maintaining a united front in the negotiations in order to achieve stability in the Region.

Owei Lakemfa

Media & Communication Consultant

Presidential Amnesty Programme.

 

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