Monday, 26 September 2016

Militancy: Governor Rochas Okorocha appoints wife as amnesty committee chairman

Imo state governor, Rochas Okorocha, has appointed his wife, Nkechi Okorocha, as the chairman of the state Amnesty committee that will address issues concerning repentant militants. This committee was set up after some members of the Niger Delta Avengers and other militant groups surrendered their arms to the state government recently.

According to Vanguard, during the inauguration of the committee, Okorocha urged the members to come up with ideas that would sustain the peace attained in some of the oil producing areas in the state such as Ohaji/Egbema and Oguta. He asked the committee to look into all the issues raised by the repented militants when they surrendered their arms.

Okorocha noted that with some of the discussions earlier had with the repentant militants, it was discovered that some of the oil companies operating in the oil producing areas in the state, have been igniting some of these troubles for their own selfish reasons.

 The committee would therefore define what should be the role of the oil companies in the areas and to make them stop igniting crises in the areas. The committee is also to ensure that militants who surrendered their arms to the state government are removed from all lists of militants in the state. Okorocha in his speech, said he discovered from the testimonies of the born-again militants that some of the traditional rulers from the areas fueled the crisis that emanated from the areas. To curtail this, he cancelled all the memorandum of understanding (MoU) the communities or traditional rulers must have entered into with the oil companies and directed that the government must be aware of any such MoU from now onward. The Amnesty committee was also asked to write to the oil companies not to deal with the communities or traditional rulers again without the approval of the State Government, with the Committee also directed to meet with all the relevant bodies and persons.

The Amnesty Committee was also directed to work towards ensuring that the names of the militants who surrendered their guns and embraced peace are removed from any record or list of militants, organize medical tours in the oil producing areas and ensure special employment of one thousand Ohaji/Egbema and Oguta Youths into the State Civil Service. The Amnesty committee has three months to submit its report.

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