Leadership (Abuja)

19 December 2012

Nigeria: Amnesty Office to Fund Disarmament Process of 3,642 Ex-Militants - Kuku

Mr Kingsley Kuku, the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta Affairs, on Wednesday said that the Presidential Amnesty Office (PAO) would fund the disarmament process of 3,642 former militants in the third phase of the amnesty programme.

Kuku, who is also the Chairman of PAO, said this when AVM James Gbum, the Chairman of the Inter Agency Task Force on Disarmament for the Third Phase of the Amnesty Programme, paid him a courtesy visit in Abuja.

The presidential aide said the PAO would fund the disarmament exercise for 31 days, adding that it had raised a five-man team that would support the task force to carry out its mandate.

According to him, the mandate of the task force is to reconcile the disarmament record of the former agitators in the third phase of the amnesty programme.

"This is because they have surrendered their arms to military formations and security agencies.

"The process is being budgeted for by President Goodluck Jonathan and the Presidential Amnesty Programme is mandated to carry out the disarmament exercise.

"Funding is not a problem. Don't seek for funding in any other way. The President, who has already given express approval, will fund the full disarmament which you (task force) will carry out in 31 days."

Kuku urged members of the task force to desist from acts that could undermine the disarmament process, warning that he would not hesitate to withdraw or sanction anyone who compromised the mandate of the force.

Responding, Gbum called for the support of the PAO's five-man team to enable the task force to achieve its mandate.

He recalled that he was appointed as Chairman of the Inter Agency Task Force on Disarmament for the Third Phase of the Amnesty Programme by the Chief of Defence Staff, Vice Adm Ola Ibrahim. NAN

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