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Don’t undermine peace in Niger Delta, Dennis Otuaro cautions ex-agitators

Dennis Otuaro, administrator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), has urged ex-agitators to avoid actions that may disrupt the peace and security in the Niger Delta.

In a statement, Igoniko Oduma, his media aide, said Otuaro spoke at a stakeholders meeting with former agitators in Warri, Delta state, on Saturday.

The event was themed: “Fostering, Consolidating, and Collaborating for the Peace, Security, Stability, and Development of the Niger Delta.”

Otuaro urged the former agitators to promote peace and security in the oil-rich region, emphasising the importance of avoiding actions that could undermine the objectives of the PAP.

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He further asked the stakeholders to consolidate on the success of the programme to prevent the region from relapsing into the pre-amnesty years of conflicts and violence.

Otuaro said if PAP is well leveraged, it could be an opportunity for the people of the region to resolve some of their challenges, especially human capital development.

In 2009, late Umaru Yar’Adua, a former president, established the Niger Delta amnesty programme to tackle youth restiveness, destruction of crude oil pipelines, oil theft, and insecurity in the region.

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The programme also seeks to rehabilitate and assimilate ex-militants into the society after they have undergone skills and vocational training.

“Sustaining the peace and security of the Niger Delta is the mandate of the Amnesty Programme, and we must do this for our communities, our children, and their children,” Otuaro said.

“The President is very serious about the peace and security of the Niger Delta region.

“Many delegates and beneficiaries from our impacted communities have received quality training and high-level manpower skills in diverse fields of human endeavours.

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“Today, several are gainfully employed as air traffic controllers, flight instructors, aircraft maintenance engineers, pilots, and underwater welders.

“Others have also been trained and empowered through the Programme and are doing very well in various trades such as fashion design, unisex salon, fish farming, baking and confectionery, rice production, hairdressing, cement, and building materials.

“In addition, several PAP scholarship students have made First Class and Second Class Upper in different courses of study, including Medical and Clinical Sciences, in universities at home and abroad. My leadership is committed to sustaining this trajectory of academic excellence, which is being applauded by well-meaning individuals and organizations across the region and indeed the country.”

Otuaro pledged to enhance the amnesty office’s operations to make it more responsive to stakeholders’ needs, promising regular meetings to get valuable feedback from delegates and swift response to complaints.

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