The amnesty programme initiated as a masterpiece conflict resolution strategy by the Federal Government of Nigeria has again empowered 120 ex-militants with skills in automobile assembling and repairs.
At a graduation ceremony held for the ex-militants at Innoson Academy in Nnewi, Anambra State, the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta and Coordinator of Presidential Amnesty Programme, Brigadier General Paul Boroh (Rtd), said the amnesty programme, which was in the last stage of re-integration, had helped in the reintegration of ex-agitators of the Niger Delta.
The Innoson Automobile Factory at Nnewi came alive with an unusual melody exclusive to the people of the Niger Delta.
It was the expression of joy of the 120 ex-militants who were graduating, having undergone the amnesty training programme in automobile skill.
The traditional music became more frenzied at the arrival of Brigadier General Boroh who was welcomed with a dance by the graduating ex-militants.
First, the environment of the skill acquisition centre was inspected.
A well organised training centre with the beneficiaries being taught automobile assemblage from scratch to finish and according to the Heads of Training Department, Mr Lewis Ekiyor and Mr Dortimi Kester, the training programme had produced pilots, aviation maintenance engineers, auto mechanics, welders, caterers, fashion and garment designers and technicians among other skills and had also launched into agriculture.
While the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta and Coordinator of Presidential Amnesty Programme maintained that the amnesty programme was succeeding in re-integrating the ex-militants, the Deputy Governor of Anambra state, Nkem Okeke, who represented the governor, commended the initiative and urged the beneficiaries to improve their lives with the skills they have acquired.
The beneficiaries of the scheme, expressing their joy with the presidential gesture, said they had assumed new life-style different from their creek experience and for them it was the best thing that had ever happened to them.
With a group photograph, the programme ended with firm assurances from Brigadier General Boroh, stating that the Exit Strategy, which bothers on successful ending of the programme for beneficiaries, must be implemented so that the issue of militancy would be completely exterminated.