TomPolo Proffers Post Amnesty Panacea – As Ex-Militants Set to Undergo Fresh Training Abroad

Prominent Niger Delta activist and the man regarded by many as the real architect of the peace which is currently been enjoyed in the Niger Delta region, High Chief Government Ekpemupolo ahs finally broken his long silence on the amnesty and post amnesty programme of the Federal Government.
Speaking at a ground breaking event at Ogulagha community, his maternal home in Burutu Local Government Area of Delta State, where he was treated to a  reception by the people for his contributions to the liberation of the region, Tompolo, who was escorted by Mobile policemen opined that the only way the Federal Government would win the hearts of repentant former fighters, who are undergoing training at Obubra camp in Cross River State, and sustain the post-amnesty programme, was for it to provide jobs for skilled former militants, who had successfully completed the non-violence training.
In the comments which the Niger Delta leader made through his Media Consultant, Mr. Paul Bebenimibo. TomPolo said that, “the non- violence training on it own will not be suffcient to give confidence to the post amnesty programme. Rather, what will give confidence is provision of jobs for the skilled among the graduands. This will spur others to go for the training without doubt in their minds,” he noted.
Tompolo laso spoke on the ambitions of President Goodluck Jonathan and Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta state by saying that bothe men were free to contest the elections if they so desire.
According to him. “Nobody should prevent President Goodluck Jonathan and Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta State from contesting the 2011 presidential and governorship elections respectively,  if they so desired” adding that “in the case of President Jonathan, people should cease from distracting him from his programmes”.
Said he; “I want everybody to support the President to develop the whole country. People should not distract him with calls that he cannot contest the 2011 election. He needs to be focused to deliver.
We want rapid development and he should treat every region the same way so that there will be no insinuations that he is focusing on his region alone.  I don’t want him to lose focus of the Niger Delta question and to remember too that he is from here. We should know that it is the electorate through their votes that can stop the President from contesting the elections. If they want him back, they will vote for him. It is not for some people to decide alone,” he added.
On Governor Uduaghan’s second term bid, he said, “if he wants to run for a second term, the constitution grants it, he is free to run, no one has the right to stop him, he is a Nigerian.”
In a related development, it appears that the ggod times are set to continue for the ex-militants undergoing a transformation stint at Obubra camp, as indications emerged that over 20,000 ex-militants might undergo fresh training at home and abroad, after their stay at the Cross Rivers state camp.
FLASHPOINT was informed by close industry sources that the Oil and Gas Industry has agreed to take up the training of 3,000 of the ex-militants. These and other facts were contained in a document, titled “Reintegration Roadmap for Transformed Ex-Militants, which was made available to our correspondents.
The document reads in part: “Trades, entrepreneurial training and education programmes have been identified to address the rehabilitation of the ex-militants.
“A total of 150 courses have been identified in various areas such as general artisanship, oil and gas technology, maritime, building and construction, environmental management, agriculture, transportation, information technology, creative arts and entertainment, and tourism.
“These courses are considered pertinent in the economic empowerment phase.
“The team has also come up with a list of about 70 small and medium scale businesses that ex-militants may wish to avail themselves of as well as identify training vendors that can build skills in small scale manufacturing/business management.
“The project team has made contact with 46 training centres within Nigeria and another 22 offshore to assess their capability and capacity to deliver the skills and support associated certification to the ex-militants. Thirty three (33) of the local training centres have scaled the initial screening exercise.
“A review of the proposals submitted by the training vendors/institutions shows that the average training duration is six months. Negotiations with the training providers should bring about a reduction in the proposed cost. However, the oil and gas industry has agreed to take up the training of 3,000 of the ex-militants.
“The strategy that will be adopted in the rehabilitation programme is that the training institutions will incorporate entrepreneurial skills for the various courses to give the ex-militants the option of self employment after the completion of their training.
“In addition, the training vendors/institutions will also be responsible for the boarding, feeding and general well being of the participants that are sent to their facilities. The training institutions will be responsible for the immigration processes for the offshore training programmes. It is also recommended that the Amnesty Programme secures the services of immigration consultants to fill gaps where the training vendors/institutions do not have the capability to deliver the requisite services.
“A training management system has been developed to assist in the scheduling to the transformation camp as well as the rehabilitation training centres. The solution provides different views for cost comparison and generates various reports.
“The visitation exercise revealed an acute shortage of standard and dedicated training facilities in Nigeria which needs to be urgently addressed if the country is to achieve the Millennium Development Goals and Vision 20-2020.

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