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Okowa proffers measures to re-integrate ex-militants into society


niger delta militants

Photo shows Niger Delta ex-militants 

Delta State Governor, Senator Dr Ifeanyi Okowa, has called for urgent empowerment of trained ex-militants so as to re-integrate them into the society.

Speaking when the Special Adviser to the President cum Coordinator on Amnesty Programme, Brig. Gen.  Paul Boroh [Retd] led some officials from the Amnesty Office to pay him a courtesy call yesterday in Asaba, Governor Okowa said non-empowerment and re-integration of the trained ex-militants could lead to their being de-skilled to the detriment of the nation.

According to him, “while we look at engaging more and more people in training, there is a need to begin to look at how to expose some of them that can stand on their own to some form of credit facilities; it may not be a full starter pack from the Federal Government.

“But, they could be exposed to some form of credit or linkage to financial institutions for credit allocation for them to start on their own because, I get worried when I see some of them being idle and when they get frustrated, it is likely that they will go back to old habits.”

“We have seen a lot of the ex-militants who have come back with skills and when you come back with skills and after a period of time, you do not apply those skills, you actually begin to deskill yourself and that is not good,” the Governor asserted.

While suggesting that the Federal Government should pay less emphasis on overseas training, Governor Okowa said efforts should rather be on having the training facilities of international standards in Nigeria which will serve the people for a long time.

The Governor praised President Mohammadu Buhari for continuing with the amnesty programme noting that it doused a lot of tension and gave hope to the ex-militants.

He said, “there is no doubt that the amnesty programme is a good programme that was started by the Umaru Yaradua administration and we are quite happy and we must appreciate President Buhari for continuing with the programme because, we need peace in the Niger Delta for us to be able to have a conducive environment for development of industries and the development of infrastructure, but, in trying to ensure that peace, we need to be sure that our youths have some hope looking into the future.”

While congratulating Brig.-Gen. Boroh on his appointment, Governor Okowa lauded his initiative to establish operational offices in the state, observing, “the operational base will give the people the opportunity to communicate with your properly and easily than people going to Abuja always.”

Earlier, the Special Adviser had told the Governor and members of the state executive council that they were in the state to establish operational base for close monitoring of activities of ex-agitators, assuring that those who have not benefited from the training programmes would benefit while plans were on to re-integrate the ex-militants into the society.

He called for collective efforts towards achieving a peaceful and progressive society.

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