President Muhammadu Buhari says the government will remain committed to the Amnesty programme for repentant militants in the Niger-Delta area.
President Buhari said sustaining the programme would bring more development in the area, including youth development.
He spoke at a dinner in honour of outstanding graduands of the Presidential Amnesty Programme in Abuja.
“Let me assure you that the government remains committed to this amnesty programme and to give young people an opportunity to do the best that they can. If you look at what has happened all through the years in this programme, you will find out that it has been building blocks and its is a programme that gives young people in the Niger-Delta and indeed across the country the opportunity to succeed,“ the President explained.
He therefore urged the Nigerian youths to brace up and assume leadership positions available in all sectors, saying that they have to take their place because of their vast potentials.
He said: “We have established various vocational programmes across the country because we believe that young people deserve an opportunity.
The President described the achievements of the Amnesty programme as incredible, advocating peaceful co-existence among Nigerians.
“Some of these beneficiaries have excelled internationally as certified aircraft pilots and engineers; in fact some of them are already flying commercial aircrafts while some are instructors in aviation institutions. Some in their capacity as automobile engineers have produced a bus from scratch, which had since been delivered to the government,” he stated.
President Buhari frowned at the activities of saboteurs, who vandalise the oil pipelines, stressing that there is no reason for doing so even in protest.
The Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo represented President Buhari at the event.
The Special Adviser to the President on Niger-Delta, Brigadier General Paul Boroh expressed appreciation to the President for his commitment to development and stability of the Niger Delta Region. General Boroh is the Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme.
One of the graduands, Mr Alex Onyechina thanked the Nigerian government for giving them the opportunity to improve their lives.
“We collectively salute the courage of President Muhammadu Buhari in sustaining the gains of the Presidential amnesty Programme, following the Presidential Amnesty proclamation on 25th June, 2009 by the then President, Late Umaru Yar’adua of blessed memory, which opened a new vista of opportunities towards revamping the socio-economic, political and developmental issues that had bedevilled the growth and development of the Niger-Delta region. We are indeed grateful to government,” he said.
Over two hundred beneficiaries of the amnesty programme are now graduates, out of which 45 graduated with first class.