Nigerian ex-militants to undergo training in India

Twenty-five surrendered Nigerian militants will undergo diving and underwater welding training in India.

Abuja: Twenty-five surrendered Nigerian militants will undergo diving and underwater welding training in India as part of the African country`s post-amnesty programme designed to make the former fighters more relevant in the petroleum sector.

They are among 449 former fighters sent to several countries including South Africa, the UAE and Malaysia to acquire relevant skills and refrain from blowing up oil pipelines and kidnapping oil sector workers which was their usual practice.

Special Adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan on Niger Delta Matters, Kingsley Kuku said the amnesty office is going ahead to negotiate job placement for the ex- militants after the completion of their programme.

One of the ex-militant leader, Ebikabowei Victor Ben, otherwise known as BOYLOAF, said the future of the Niger Delta cannot be achieved by continuous armed struggle.
"I want to urge you all not to bring disgrace and shame to the Amnesty programme. If you are tired, you can opt out and come back home in honour, rather than committing offences of high criminal proportion in your host country" he said.

Due to long neglect of the oil producing Niger Delta coupled with pollutions, what started as environmental activism in the region metamorphosed into militancy.
Nigeria`s government was able to tackle the phenomenon through an amnesty granted to the fighters followed by trainings. The country is Africa`s largest oil producer and an influential member of OPEC.

PTI

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