FG to pay ex-militants soon ….. PUNCH

The Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta and the Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, Brig. Gen. Paul Boroh (retd.), has called on the ex-militants enrolled under the programme not to be agitated over the delay in the payment of their stipends.

Boroh said that arrangements were being made to sanitise the system to make payment of the stipends in a more effective and efficient manner to the ex-militants.

The Coordinator of the Amnesty programme made the comment while speaking with journalists shortly after a meeting with the Netherlands Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. John Groffen, in Abuja on Monday.

The ex-militants are agitated over the non-payment of their monthly stipends for the months of July and August.

He said that the Federal Government was aware of the pains the ex-militants were going through and would ensure that they get their stipends soon.

He said, “There are plans to have a very conducive atmosphere by which payments could be made so that everybody would have confidence in the system.

“Only today, I spoke with some boys in the creeks when they called me. The Federal Government is aware of the pains that they are going through and there are arrangements being made to ensure that they all get their payment within a short time.”

Boroh, who also commented on the seeming resurgence of kidnapping and other criminal acts in the area, said that the recorded incidents were isolated cases lacking in capacity to affect development in the area.

He said that the Joint Task Force in the Niger Delta and the Navy were collaborating to curb the activities of detractors of the programme.

The President’s aide said that the verification exercise he carried out at the Amnesty Office in June was still ongoing and was intended to get the process of running the office right.

Boroh said that several international partners had indicated interest in the Amnesty Programme and were waiting for plans and programmes of the office to make their developmental inputs.

Speaking earlier, the Ambassador of Netherlands to Nigeria, Groffen, had said that Nigeria had a lot of potential which should be developed.

The Ambassador, who commended Nigeria for the peaceful conduct of the last elections, said that the Netherlands placed emphasis on peace and security in the Niger Delta.