Fresh tension is rising in the Niger Delta following the Federal Government’s failure to provide jobs for about 10,000 former militants so far trained by the presidential post-amnesty office.
It was learnt that the unemployed amnesty beneficiaries are now roaming the streets and creeks of the region, months after their training.
National Mirror learnt that some of the “frustrated former militants have returned to the creeks apparently to make ends meet in whatever way possible.”
Some stakeholders feared that the former militants could return to their criminal antecedent in the creeks and along the waterways in order to earn a living.
Investigations showed that the plight of the former militants was worsened by the Federal Government’s failure to initiate measures to meaningfully engage them after their training.
National Mirror gathered that a paltry 200 beneficiaries have so far been employed due principally to the effort of the Chairman of the Post-Amnesty Office and Presidential Adviser on Niger Delta Affairs, Mr. Kingsley Kuku, who is said to be greatly worried by the development.
The amnesty office has trained the former militants at various centres within and outside the country for various skill acquisition programmes and formal education. Specifically, they were trained to acquire skills in various sectors such as maritime, oil and gas, agriculture, engineering and other vocations designed to make them useful to themselves and the society.
But stakeholders expressed worry over the Federal Government’s failure to design post-training programmes for the former militants.
Some of the former militants lamented their plight in an interview with National Mirror.
One of them, Ebikabowei Brisbie, said their training came to nothing without conscious efforts by the Federal Government to guarantee employment for them after their training.
Brisbie said the government might not be able to realise its vision of returning the Niger Delta on the path of peace and sustainable development in view of the number of the former militants roaming the creeks.
Another beneficiary of the amnesty, Peter Bubor, pleaded with the Federal Government to fashion out measures to guarantee employment of them.
But despite the fact that it was not the responsibility of his office to create jobs for the amnesty beneficiaries, Kuku said he had worked out strategies to address their plight under the postamnesty scheme.
The presidential adviser, who said he was bothered by the development, had directed all trainers of the amnesty office to henceforth ensure that 30 per cent of their trainees are engaged by all means as a condition for further patronage.
To secure jobs for the remaining 70 per cent, Kuku said four post training units, including maritime, oil and gas and basic skills had been created in the amnesty office to achieve the objective.
Kuku, who spoke through the Head, Media and Communication of the Amnesty Office, Mr. Dan Alabrah, said he was worried that the trainees were abandoned by the trainers after the exercise, only to be lobbying for the award of fresh training contracts.