Emmanuel canvasses review of training for ex-militants



GOVERNOR Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State has advocated a review of the training given former militants in the Niger Delta under the Presidential Amnesty Programme to make them self-sustainable.

Emmanuel, who made the call at the weekend while receiving the Coordinator of the Niger Delta Presidential Amnesty Programme, Brigadier General Paul Boroh (rtd) and his team at the Government House, Uyo, said the training offered through the programme does not address the local content needs of the Nigerian society especially in the oil-bearing communities, thus the trainees do not fit into the available opportunities in the oil industry.

He suggested a liaison with the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) for the development of the scheme, stating that the ex-militants should be trained in line with the manpower needs of the society.

The governor said, as a practical step towards reintegrating the ex-militants, motivational talks should be used to encourage them to earn a living rather than engage in agitations and called on the companies operating in the coastal communities to devise modalities for dialogue to address issues of environmental degradation, which he noted, were root causes of the agitations.

Emmanuel, who traced the relative calm in the area to the stipends being paid to the agitators, harped on the need to make them earn a living rather than rely on pay-outs to forestall frustration which could make them to return to the creeks.

He, however, supported Boroh’s decision to establish offices in the oil-rich states, saying the initiative would allow for timely settlement of grievances when they arise.

Earlier, the coordinator said they were in the state to seek collaboration towards the successful disengagement, disarmament and reintegration of former warlords.

He noted that the programme, which was set up in 2009, had successfully disarmed 425 agitators, with 368 of the number trained in different areas.

Boroh said he would create additional state offices and collaborate with the military, paramilitary and other security agencies to achieve a complete reintegration of the ex-militants.

Boroh commended the state government’s decision to create jobs through agriculture, which he described as the mainstay of the nation’s economy, urging other states to emulate the move.

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