A retired former Federal Capital Territory Commissioner of Police, Lawrence Alobi, has urged the Federal Government to sustain and adequately fund the Presidential Amnesty Programme to maintain the prevailing peace and security in the Niger Delta.
The ex-police boss described the programme as a catalyst for development of the hitherto restive region.
Speaking with newsmen on Wednesday in Abuja, Alobi, renowned security analyst and Managing Director, High-tech Security Limited, said this was necessary in view of the attendant effects of insecurity in the Niger Delta on the nation’s economy.
He said: “Amnesty Programme should be sustained and properly funded so that more Niger Delta youth can be trained and empowered to sustain peace, security and development of the region.
“The Amnesty Programme shouldn’t have a timeline.
“It should be sustained for us to enjoy peace and security in the Niger Delta.
“Peace and security is ultimate; no nation, no community can develop without peace and security.
“That is why Section 14 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic emphasizes the importance of security; it says the security and welfare of citizens shall be the priority of government.
“There is a nexus between peace, security and development.
“When there is peace and security, development will be achieved.
“When there is no peace and security, development cannot be achieved.
“So, the sustenance of Niger Delta Presidential Amnesty Programme will promote development.
“The government should sustain it because whatever is good should be sustained.
“Peace is not something that has a life span.
“Peace and security of the Niger Delta region is very important because that is where our economy basically relies on.
“The oil, the gas, etc.
“Amnesty should not be something that has a lifespan.
“It should be in perpetuity.
“The programme should continue.
“When it empowers them, our youth work and contribute to promote that desired peace and security.”
Alobi, who is also a legal practitioner, noted the gains of Amnesty Programme under the incumbent Coordinator and Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta, Prof. Charles Dokubo, whose pragmatic leadership, he said, has led to the breaking of new grounds in training and empowerment of Niger Delta youths.
He described Dokubo as an outstanding leader with outstanding qualities and robust intellectual capacity, who has taken the Amnesty Programme to greater heights through a display of integrity, transparency, probity and efficiency.
He said: “Prof. Charles is a leader who believes in human capital development.
“What is human capital development?
“It makes people to contribute meaningfully to the needs of other people, the needs of their environments and to their own needs.
“He is a leader who believes in team spirit; a leader who believes in empowering the youth; a leader who is focused; a leader who knows the main purpose of why Amnesty Programme was established.
“When you are purposeful, you know the vision and mission.
“I think he is driving the programme very well.
“There is a great difference between his predecessors and himself.
“There are a lot of changes.
“The youth themselves applaud his effort, so far.
“Charles is embarking on human capital development and empowerment of the people.
“Training and capacity building will re-orientate the youth for them to see themselves as contributors; not as destroyers, and as builders of their region.
“They will then have a different perception because perception determines an attitude.”
Alobi advocated the inclusion of more Niger Delta youth in the Amnesty Programme, noting that when the youth are trained and empowered, they will add value not only to their lives, but also to the development of communities in the region, and the economy of the nation, adding: “The more youth that are captured, the more the region, government and country will benefit from peace and security that are sine qua non for development.”