Elder statesman wants Ogoni youths to embrace Rivers amnesty offer

Elder statesman wants Ogoni youths to embrace Rivers amnesty offer
United Bank for Africa

An Elder Statesman, Sen. Cyrus Nunieh has called on criminal gangs and cultists in Ogoni, Rivers, to embrace the state government’s new amnesty offer.

Nunieh told newsmen in Port Harcourt on Monday that the latest amnesty offer for repentant criminals and cultists in Ogoni was a good omen.

The state government recently announced a state pardon for criminal gangs who repent and surrender their arms.

Newsverge reports that no fewer than 10,000 gang members in Ogoni have indicated interest to take up the amnesty offer.

Nunieh said Ogoni land was known for its peaceful and mature approach to issues, as such the area deserved peace, especially with the “hope of the implementation of the UNEP report by the Federal Government’’.

He said that recent eruption of violence and criminality in Ogoni land was bad for the area’s image.

“I see the amnesty offer as capable of enthroning peace in Ogoni land if well handled; our youths who are involved in cultism and crime should get enlisted,’’ the former Senator said.

In a related development, a repentant cultist in the state, Ejima Igwedibia, also known as Donwani, has called on the state government to fully implement the amnesty programme.

Igwedibia expressed concern over the failure of the government to fully implement the programme more than five months after the surrender of arms by various groups.

“The amnesty offer did not end with the surrendering of arms; the programmes that should strengthen it have to be implemented.

“Not being able to do so for more than five months is unfair; it is also not a good omen to the peace being enjoyed in the state,’’ Igwedibia said.