Leaders of the defunct Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta on Thursday backed the ongoing probe and verification exercise being conducted by the Chairman of the Presidential Amnesty Implementation Committee, Brig. Gen. Paul Boroh (retd.).
They said the probe became necessary in order to know the exact number of ex-militants benefiting from the Federal Government’s Amnesty Programme.
The ex-MEND leaders, under the auspices of Leadership, Peace and Cultural Development Initiative, said though some groups had expressed divergent views on the verification, they believe it would help to sanitize and strengthen the programme.
Chairman of the LCPD, Pastor Wilson Reuben, said in a statement in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital that through the process, the government would be able to iron out issues of inclusion of those purportedly disarmed under the Third Phase of the programme.
Wilson also urged the amnesty coordinator to look into the monthly stipend paid ex-militants with a view to increasing the amount because the present N65,000 “is too small”.
He said, “We, the ex-agitators wish to let Brig-Gen. Paul Boroh (retd.) know that he has our full backing on this bold initiative. He should not be deterred in his mandate of implementing the PAP mandate to the letter.
“We urge Boroh to rally round the leadership of ex-agitators for inputs by having a meeting with Ebikabowei Victor-Ben, aka ‘General’ Boyloaf, and others on how best to handle the impasse arising from delays in the payment of stipends and allowances, among other lingering issues being faced by those in foreign institutions.
“We also urge Boroh to look into the issue of N65,000 being received by the leaders because the amount is too small compared to the burden of their followers they shoulder.
“We thank President Muhammadu Buhari for keeping to his word on his keen concern in the smooth and efficient running of the amnesty programme with a credible character such as Boroh as he unfolds other agenda for the Niger Delta”.