|Niger Delta militants laid down their arms under the Presidential Amnesty Programme, but leaders say nonpayment of allowances is causing unrest among youths/Tife Owolabi|
Scores of ex-militant leaders from the nine States of the Niger Delta region sent a letter yesterday to President Muhammad Buhari regarding cases of disenchantment and threats to the existing peace accord by some aggrieved youths over the delay by the federal government to pay allowances and tuition fees to beneficiaries of the country's amnesty deal.
The concerned ex-militant leaders, led by ex-militia leader Pastor Reuben Wilson, popularly known as General Pastor, in Bayelsa State, said that a series of complaints have been sent to President Muhammad Buhari about the deplorable condition of amnesty beneficiaries in Europe, the Americas, and South Africa without response. They also reported that the delay in payment is causing dangerous disenchantment among the ex-militant youths.
According to copies of the letter sent to the President that were made available to newsmen in Yenagoa, the ex-militant leaders said they wished to alert him of the urgent need to address the issues within the Presidential Amnesty Programme office. Their letter described the youths' plight as a "nightmare," with "hunger and deprivation."
The letter-writers mentioned that they were mindful of delays due to the transition of governments, but continued, "Your Excellency, you would agree with me that the delegates and students have... demonstrated the highest form of patience and decorum. However, as it stands now, their patience can no longer be outstretched beyond its present level."