The Niger Delta Liberation Force (NDLF), on thursday, april 30, 2015, in a statement released by the leaders of the group described the statements made by ex militant Chief Ayiri Emami in calling The Presidential Amnesty programme a colossal waste and asking the incoming administration to scrap the programme as ‘naive’.
“We are not surprised to read such statements from persons like Chief Ayiri Emami, who benefited maximally from the Niger Delta crisis that had turned him to an overnight billionaire. Chief Ayiri may have been naive or wrongly counselled by his media crew to lose his right sense of judgement and to join the enemies of the Niger Delta region to call for the scrapping of the amnesty Programme,” spokesman of the group, ‘Captain’ Mark Anthony said in Warri.
They went on to explain that the chief who himself is an Itsekiri born had lost touch with the travails and struggles of the ordinary people in the Niger Delta stating that the call was made out of ‘total ignorance’.
They stated that; “The incoming President knows the significance of the amnesty programme as being one of the administrative strategies for enduring peace in the volatile Niger Delta region which was implemented by the late Yar’Adua’s administration and sustained by President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration. If people like Ayiri Emami do not know the strategic nature of the amnesty programme to the people of Niger Delta and to the nation’s economy as a result of naivety and personal aggrandizement, the President-elect should know’’
The group also asked the incoming administration not to neglect the people of the region in terms of infrastructural development and political appointments.
Chief Ayiri was, until the announcement of the presidential elections result and his defection to APC, an avid supporter of President Jonathan’s reelection bid. He had even hosted the President at his Warri home.
He had earlier argued that the amnesty programme was a waste of resources that could be diverted into bettering the region and its people. In his words; “If the layman’s understanding of the word amnesty is anything to go by, then it presupposes an arrangement where militants who genuinely turn in all their arms and ammunition are rehabilitated, re-oriented and trained with a view to reintegrating them to everyday societal living”
“In the ordinary sense of it, any person or group that picks up arms in the name of struggle or agitation ought to have been treated as a terrorist, hence nobody or group should take the gesture of the federal government for granted. Amnesty should not be a continuous/partial giving out of money to youths from a particular ethnic nationality, sending some of them abroad for training without any visible impact on the Niger Delta and the nation at large’’, Emami argued.