Former Militants in the Niger Delta under the aegis of the Third Phase Group has called on the Federal Government to aggressively pursue development of the Niger Delta to forestall another crisis in the region.
The former militants, who flayed the actions of former Presidential Adviser to the President on the Amnesty Programme, Kingsley Kuku, said that the call is timely as such failure in the past led to increase in militancy and unrest, which caused drastic drop in national earning.
“The Programme under Kuku specifically failed as a result of mismanagement of funds allocated for the programme by the Federal Government. Five groups under the third phase were marginalized and there were malicious diversion and deprivation of genuine and real persons that surrendered their arms and ammunition for which the slots were legitimately approved for,” the ex-militants said in a joint statement by National Chairman, Diepreye Ogbetebe; Vice Chairman, John Government; Secretary, Etarighobe Thompson and Delta State Chairman, Prince Ogor.
They also listed “incompetent, corrupt and unfair representation of Phase III by the so called self-imposed national leaders, deprivation/non-documentation of some of the ex-militants during the documentation exercise handled by inter-agency task forces in the various JTF barracks” as factors that hallmarked the past regime.
The group said that proper verification of arms and ammunition surrendered by various groups and war lords was not done before the allocation and disbursement of the 3642 slots to commence the Phase III of the programme.
“Despite the infinitesimal amount of the 3642 slots approved for Phase III, most of the camps that surrendered less than 20 guns were given up to 50 slots while some of the camps that surrendered above 50 guns were given three slots due to malicious diversion of slots,” they said.