AS part of federal government’s peace building efforts in the Niger Delta Region, Paul Boroh, a retired brigadier general and special adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari, on Niger Delta affairs and coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, on Thursday, February 2, took members of the House Committee on Niger Delta to Okochiri, in Okrika, Rivers State.
A state made available to journalists by Wabiye Idoniboyeobu, media consultant to Boroh said their destination was the house of Ateke Tom, a former militant leader. Tom, who is one of the former agitators who embraced the Niger Delta Presidential Amnesty offer in 2012, has since then been moving in line with the activities of the programme.
The delegation from the House of Representatives was led by Nasir Ali Ahmed, who is the deputy House Committee chairman on Niger Delta, and the head, Ad hoc Committee on Amnesty.
Boroh in his remarks thanked Tom for embracing the Amnesty Programme, emphasising that it was that noble move by Tom and other former militant leaders that gave rise to the end of militancy in the Niger Delta Region. He also encouraged Tom and his boys to remain law abiding and strive to make Nigeria stronger by supporting the federal government’s plans and policies.
Ahmed, who represents Nassarawa South federal constituency and is partly from Bonny Island, in Rivers State, appreciated the warm reception. He and his colleagues were received on arrival at Okrika. He pointed out how Nigerians in other parts of the country had a wrong negative perception of places like Okochiri, in the Niger Delta, but told newsmen how peaceful and homely the community was. The lawmaker also commended the former warlord for embracing the Amnesty Programme and encouraged him to continue preaching peace.
Tom in his response thanked the team for honouring him and his people. He also said that he had embraced peace and would always ensure that his followers embraced peace in all their activities. He appreciated Boroh for how the Amnesty Programme was being run and called on the federal government to ensure proper funding of the programme, to ease the reintegration and empowerment phase of the programme.
The meeting was attended by executives of the Presidential Amnesty office and some Chiefs of the area.
— Feb 6, 2017 @ 14:00 GMT