• Amnesty Office to train 10,000 ex-agitators in agriculture
One of the militant groups, the upland-based Niger Delta Greenland Justice Mandate (NDGJM), which rejected a ceasefire, has explained why it has suspended the bombing of pipelines.
The group said yesterday in a statement by its spokesman, Gen. Aldo Agbalaja that the suspension was for strategic reasons.In the statement which it titled ‘It’s Silence Not Death,” the group said it had not changed its position on the Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) headed by Edwin Clark.
The NDGJM claimed that they had been following the events in the region, monitoring developments and designing possible line of action in the New Year.“We have remained quiet all along for strategic reasons and to clear any doubt that the Federal Government or their partners in crimes, the oil multinationals, had cut down our comrades in the struggle.
The group said there was no much activity currently at the Forcados Terminal (FOT), even though the Federal Government had brought new investors into the area.
The group also condemned some leaders in the region, whom they accused of using the region’s problems to enrich themselves.
Meanwhile, the Presidential Amnesty Office (AO) has disclosed that there are plans to train 10, 000 ex-agitators in agriculture. This, it said, would create 40,000 farm workers in 2017.
The Coordinator and Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta, Brig.-Gen Paul Boroh (retired) disclosed this yesterday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), in Abuja.
Boroh said the office had adopted the Green Alternative initiative of the Federal Government through a strategic partnership with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Anchor Borrowers programme.
According to Boroh, the Amnesty Office would collaborate with governors of the nine oil-producing states, Ministry of Agriculture and National Biotechnology Resource Centre.
He said the training programme would be done in clusters, adding that the AO in collaboration with the Bioresources Development Agency had developed and equipped more than 200 ex-agitators with tools and research mechanism needed in agriculture.
Boroh said the dynamics of the CBN Anchor Borrowers’ Programme would not only create millions of jobs, but was also capable of lifting thousands of small holder farmers out of poverty.
He urged governors of the nine oil-producing states to assist in integrating trained youths through sustainable human capacity development and job opportunities.
According to him, collaborating with the states would serve as a control post to enable the AO in Abuja to have firm control of the beneficiaries at the grassroots.
The Amnesty boss urged the beneficiaries to take agriculture as a primary or secondary means of income in order to generate jobs, wealth and achieve food security.According to Boroh, in addition to providing food and raw materials, agriculture also provides employment opportunities to very large percentage of Nigeria’s population.