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Nigeria > Nigeria
Presidency alleges plans by Niger Delta youths to invade Abuja
By Victor Iluyemi
October 7, 2013 00:18:38am GMT
Abuja city gate

WorldStage Newsonline-- Plans by some aggrieved youths in the Niger Delta region to invade Abuja  over their exclusion from the Presidential Amnesty Programme for ex-militants have been uncovered.

According to a statement by the Presidential Amnesty Office, security agencies had been alerted to abort the plan.

Amnesty Office's Head of Media and Communications, Daniel Alabrah, in the statement denied extending invitation to any group of youths from the Niger Delta.

He said this was contrary to the claims of the aggrieved youths that they were invited to a meeting by the Amnesty Office in order to document their inclusion in the programme.

He said: “We have discovered that their plan is to storm the National Assembly to demand inclusion in the amnesty programme even after the window granted by Mr President had since closed,” the statement said.

"The Amnesty Office notes that the agitation for inclusion in the programme is a familiar pattern encouraged by some elements in the Niger Delta each time they want another phase of the programme.

"The Amnesty Office insists that no amount of protest or agitation will force an extension beyond the Third Phase, which is indeed the last of such inclusion in the programme.

"We insist that there will be no further inclusion beyond the 30,000 beneficiaries already captured in the programme and condemn any move that encourages unengaged youths in the region to demand inclusion through ill-advised agitations and protests.

"The Amnesty Office aligns itself with the outcome of the Third Phase verification exercise conducted by the Air Vice Marshall James Gbum-led committee set up by the Chief of Defence Staff.

 “The committee did a thorough job and we are satisfied with the outcome of the verification exercise, which resulted in the inclusion of an additional 3,642 youths in the programme, following a Presidential directive. Payment of the monthly stipends of these youths has since commenced having been properly verified by the committee."

The Amnesty Office however urged security agencies to be at alert the threat posed by the said group.

"The Amnesty Office urges security agencies to continue to be alive to their responsibilities and take appropriate actions to stop any individual or group that foments trouble in Abuja or in the Niger Delta under the guise of demanding inclusion in the amnesty programme.

 

"We also urge Sates in the Niger Delta to engage youths in the region through educational, skill acquisition and empowerment schemes as the amnesty programme for the former agitators is not an alternative government in the region."

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