As part of Federal Government’s peace building efforts in the Niger Delta Region; the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta Affairs and Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, Brigadier General Paul Boroh (Rtd), on Thursday, 2nd January, took members of the House Committee on Niger Delta to Okochiri, in Okrika, Rivers State.
A statement made available to journalists byWabiye Idoniboyeobu, the media consultant to Gen. Boroh said their destination was the house of former militant leader, High Chief Ateke Tom. Ateke who is one of the ex agitators who embraced the Niger Delta Presidential Amnesty offer in 2012, has since then been moving in line with the activities of the Programme.
The delegation from the House of Representatives was led by Hon Nasir Ali Ahmed, who is the Deputy House Committee Chairman on Niger Delta, and the head, Ad hoc Committee on Amnesty.
General Boroh in his remarks thanked Chief Ateke Tom for embracing the Amnesty Programme, emphasizing that it was that noble move by Ateke and other Ex Militant leaders that gave rise to the end of militancy in the Niger Delta Region. He also encouraged Ateke and his boys to remain law abiding and strive to make Nigeria stronger by supporting the federal government’s plans and policies.
Hon Nasir Ali Ahmed, who represents Nassarawa South Federal Constituency and is partly from Bonny Island, in Rivers State, appreciated the warm reception, He and his colleagues received on arrival at Okrika. He pointed out how Nigerians in other parts of the country have a wrong negative perception of places like Okochiri, in the Niger Delta, but told newsmen how peaceful and homely the community is. The law maker also commended the Ex Warlord for embracing the Amnesty Programme and encouraged him to continue preaching peace.
Ateke Tom in his response thanked the team for honoring him and his people. He also added that he has embraced peace and will always ensure that his followers embrace peace in all their activities. He appreciated General Boroh for how the Amnesty Programme is being run and called on the Federal Government to ensure proper funding of the Programme, to ease the reintegration and empowerment phase of the Programme.
The meeting was attended by executives of the Presidential Amnesty office and some Chiefs of the area.