Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta and Coordinator of Presidential Amnesty Programme, Prof. Charles Dokubo, said the hitherto volatile region has turned the most peaceful part of the country.
He said the Niger Delta is presently the most conducive for development.
Dokubo, who hailed initiators of the amnesty programme for ex-agitators, said the prevailing peace in the region is an indication of the successes, so far, recorded.
He spoke in Lagos, on Wednesday, at a meeting with leaders of the Niger Delta which had traditional rulers, former governors, as well as community leaders and other critical stakeholders, in attendance.
While reiterating his determination to speedily retool the amnesty programme, to make it more robust and impactful for the enlisted former agitators in the Niger Delta region, he said the ultimate goal of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari is to achieve sustainable development in all facets of the region.
“On March 13, 2018, President Buhari graciously appointed me to serve as the coordinator of the presidential amnesty programme, with a clear mandate to speedily retool the programme to make it more robust and impactful for the enlisted former agitators in the Niger Delta region of our great country. I commend most honestly, the initiators of the presidential amnesty programme. It is not a secret that the programme has, since 2010, aided the attainment of relative peace, safety and security in the Niger Delta. Today, the region, once noted for its volatility, may well be regarded as the most peaceful part of Nigeria.
“I do not believe there is any one here who is not aware that prior to the proclamation of unconditional amnesty for former agitators in the Niger Delta in 2009, disruptions in the exploration, processing and export of crude oil almost brought our economy to a standstill.
“Today, owing to the success of the amnesty programme, Nigeria is now able to meet its current Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries quota of 2.2 million barrels per day. We must all thank, most profusely, the ex-agitators in the Niger Delta, who have continued to keep the peace in accordance with the pact they entered into with the Federal Government after accepting the offer of amnesty,” he said.
Dokubo commended the traditional, religious, opinion, intellectual and community leaders as well as the leadership of ethnic nationalities and youth groups in the Niger Delta for showing leadership example, without which, he said, persons enlisted in the presidential amnesty programme may well have derailed.