The Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta Affairs and Chairman Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), Mr Kingsley Kuku, on Thursday said northern leaders were key to ending insurgency.
KuKu expressed this opinion at a forum on Curbing Militancy in Nigeria, organised by Nextier, a public sector advisory firm, in Abuja.
He said the lessons learnt from the PAP can be leveraged to curb the present Boko Haram crisis
“The programme has achieved its core goals of solving the militant agitation in the Niger Delta of Nigeria and increasing the nation’s crude oil production.
“The PAP reduced violence and created room for socio-economic development of the region”, he said
The presidential adviser held that “the Niger Delta is poor despite its wealth of natural resources.
“The perceived insensitivity of the government resulted in militancy that impacted the quality of life in the region and economy of the country”.
He said PAP was a success because it had national ownership and was conceived as a process and not a programme, and had managers that enjoyed the trust of the ex-agitators.
Kuku noted that when the Boko Haram crisis started, nothern leaders failed to condemn it thinking that it was a move against President Goodluck Jonathan.
He said political, traditional, religious and women leaders and other elites from the north hold the key to resolving the puzzle associated with the Boko Haram insurgency.
Kuku challenged them to borrow a leaf from their compatriots from the Niger Delta.
He said leaders in Niger Delta took up the challenge to end militancy in the region.
“This culminated in a truce and eventual granting of amnesty by the federal government, thus ushering in the extant peace in the area”. (NAN)