Former Niger Delta militants, under the auspices of the Second Phase Presidential Amnesty Programme, have pleaded with the Federal Government to pay their three months arrears of outstanding stipends.
The Chairman of the second phase in Bayelsa State, Ebina Salvation, in a statement on Saturday, urged President Muhammadu Buhari to see the amnesty programme as a security programme.
He noted that the existing peace in the Niger Delta was as a result of the amnesty programme, adding that the delay in the payment of stipends to ex-militants was the highest risk on the part of the Federal Government.
Salvation, therefore, pleaded with the government to release adequate funds to the Amnesty Office for effective implementation of the programme.
The ex-militant leader also called on the Federal Government to go back to the blueprint of the amnesty programme and implement its content by interfacing with the Coordinator of the scheme, Brig.-Gen. Paul Boroh (retd.) and the ex-agitators.
He, however, discountenanced the Second Phase from a statement purportedly written by factional leader of the programme, Stephen Ebisintei, who allegedly threatened that they would shut down all Central Bank of Nigeria branches in the region over failure to pay their stipends.
Salvation restated that the Amnesty Office under the leadership of Boroh was doing well and therefore should not be blamed for the delay in the payment of their stipends.
He stated, “We, therefore, describe the allegations of the faction as false, baseless, mischievous and wicked. The allegations lack substance and should be thrown to the dustbin of history by all right thinking persons.
“We, therefore, urge members of the group to discountenance Stephen Ebisintei’s display of falsehood which is a figment of his imagination and that of his co-travellers.”
Salvation, who is also a Director, Bayelsa State Environmental Sanitation Authority, maintained that the CBN is not Amnesty Phase 2 Office but a bank accountable and rendering services to all Nigerians, both nationally and internationally.