Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt
The Rivers State Governor, Siminalayi Fubara’s administration has dashed any hope of granting any form of amnesty for repentant criminal gang members terrorizing the state.
The State Commissioner for Youths Affairs, Chisom Kenneth Gbali stated this in a chat with Journalists on Thursday in Port Harcourt said granting amnesty will encourage to others will join in carrying arms to be killing people.
He said those in crimes and in Cult groups will rather be rehabilitated and re-integrated into the society.
“Granting amnesty to cultists will only encourage more youths into criminality”.
Dr. Gbali stated this on Thursday 28th September 2023, during a live interview session at a Port Harcourt based radio station: Nigerian Info 92.3 FM.
“What we had in 2019 by the Presidency was Amnesty due to agitation by the people of the Niger Delta who were agitating for inclusion, mainstreaming and integration into oil This is still ongoing as the quest for that mainstreaming has not been met. This agitation was what led to amnesty and it was worth it at that time. But I’m saying this is not always the best approach, this is not always the way to go” he said.
The Commissioner further said that rather than being reactive to issues of cultism and criminality, the administration of Sir Siminalayi Fubara has decided to be proactive by preparing Rivers Youth through education in different spheres such as ICT Trainings, Vocational Trainings and Entrepreneurship Trainings.
“Rivers Youth have been adjudged to be unemployable, but we are changing that narrative because we are not just planning for them but we are making them part of what we are doing,” he said.
He also said the Youths are full of dexterity and energy that need to be harnessed and channelled into useful endeavors hence, the Ministry for Youth Development has come up with a working plan tagged “Preparedness Plan for Rivers Youth Paradigm from Unemployability to Resourcefulness” to train and empower Rivers Youth to be Resourceful and earn multiple streams of income.
According to him, “Some have gone far (in vices) and will need rehabilitation, especially our youth that are drug-ridden. There is nobody we cannot get back to their feet”.
He said haven gone to 16 out of 23 LGAs for Youth Sensitization and Advocacy visit under the express approval of the Governor, Dr Gbali says that Rivers Youths are giving a positive feedback on their willingness to be part of the Preparedness Plan of the Ministry.
Gali insists that granting amnesty to criminals will encourage other youths to engage in cultism, crime and criminality.
He stated that the state government is partnering with the Federal Government and the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, to train youth in various fields beginning from the first quarter of next year.
He urged youths in the state to seize the opportunity to better their lives.
Recall could be made that facts later emerged that the late SP Bako Angbashim the Divisional Police Officer of Ahoada in Ahoad-East Local Government area was tricked and murdered by the most wanted Cult kingpin, Gift David Okpara alias 2 Baba and his gang members pretending that were surrendering arms and ready for amnesty.