Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta and Coordinator of the Amnesty Programme, Brigadier General Paul Boroh has refuted a recent claim that the Itsekiri ethnic group has been excluded from the programme.
Refuting a claim recently made by a member of the House of Representative from Warri Federal Constituency, David Ruyenieju, Boroh, in an open letter to the lawmaker stated that the Itsekiri had been skeptical about government’s intention in the beginning and had rejected the amnesty offer only to indicate interest three years into the programme when 500 of them were absorbed.
“The fact is that when in October, 2009 ex-Itsekiri agitators disarmed in Koko, Delta State, leader of the Itsekiri National Youth Association (INYA) and then member of the Delta Waterways and Security Committee, Mr. Newuwumi Omolubi, who presented a written speech said the Itsekiris were not militants and that the arms they submitted were merely for the protection of their communities. This he said, is the reason no Itsekiri can be found at any of the militant rehabilitation centres or collecting stipend under the programme. It was for this reason Itsekiris were initially left out of the programme since the Federal Government could not compel anybody or group to be part of it” Boroh wrote. Read more