Rivers: FG planning amnesty for 32 wanted cultists –Wike

Rivers Governor, Nyesom Wike, has accused the Federal Government of plans to grant amnesty to the 32 suspected cultists  who were declared wanted recently by the state government.

Wike, who spoke yesterday, through his Commissioner for Information and Communications,  Emma Okah,  said the planned amnesty was for the purpose of 2019 elections.

He noted that the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led government has always frustrated the security architecture of the State.

“The Rivers State Government is in receipt of credible intelligence that the federal government has concluded plans to grant amnesty to 32 cultists declared wanted by the State Security Council. 

“Details of the intelligence indicate that the federal government is granting the said cultists amnesty for the purpose  of undue electoral advantage in the 2019 general elections. 

“This  action is not a surprise to us because we have repeatedly said it that some officials and agencies of the federal government are frustrating the fight against violent crime and criminality in Rivers state. In particular, we have accused the federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of involvement in and aiding violent criminal activities.”

The governor further said the state government is worried about the development,   when it is winning the war against kidnappers and cultists. 

“Each time, we record successes in the promotion of  security, the Federal Government  and her agents take deliberate steps to sabotage  the security  of the State at the instigation of some unpatriotic Rivers sons at the centre.

“We call on the international community, civil society organisations and well-meaning Nigerians to take notice of this deliberate act to compromise the security of Rivers state for ungodly political gains by the APC-led Federal Government. 

Meanwhile, barely 24 hours after the Joint Revolutionary Council (JRC), a coalition of armed groups in the Niger Delta, served noticed that ex-militants in the region may renege on the terms of the Presidential Amnesty they embraced in 2008, over alleged moves to replace President Muhammad Buhari’s Special Adviser and Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), Brig. Gen. Paul Boroh (retd), youth leaders from the region have passed a vote of confidence in the presidential aide.

Addressing a press conference in Abuja, on behalf of 24 other groups, yesterday, Chairman of Ijaw Youth Congress (IYC), Abuja Chapter, Comrade Ebizimor Preye Raphael said while they acknowledged that amnesty as a developmental process cannot last forever, it is not auspicious to scrap the programme at the moment because issues that gave rise to it have not been resolved.

“The present constitution of the amnesty board, led by Boroh, is highly appreciated and endorsed by us, in the light of the unprecedented progress in peace-building movements and the resultant increases in production of oil and gas companies in the region and therefore should be retained.”