<<< By Tahav Agerzua >>>
The Presidential Committee on Small Arms and Light Weapons, PRESCOM, has urged other states to emulate the initiative of introducing a disarmament program like the Benue State Government.
Chairman of the committee, Ambassador Emmanuel Imohe, made the call at the commencement of the arms destruction exercise of the illegal weapons recovered under Governor Samuel Ortom’s Amnesty Programme.
“PRESCOM is delighted with the success story in Benue State and would like to call upon other states in Nigeria to emulate the Benue State initiative by replicating it in other states of the federation,” Ambassador Imohe stated.
“The Amnesty Programme in Benue State in our estimate has been largely very successful and has so far resulted in the recovery of over 700 small arms, ammunitions, grenades, automatic and semi automatic weapons.”
Ambassador Imoke was represented at the occasion Mr Dickson Orji.
He stated that as soon as the state government fulfilled the preparatory obligations and the training of the amnestees, the resources to provide alternative livelihood by partners would be made available.
Governor Ortom assured that the alternative livelihood programme for the amnestees would commence soon with the support from the partners.
“Arrangements have been concluded to ensure that amnestees who complete training in selected fields of their choice are provided resources to begin a new life, ” he stated.
“At the moment, issues related to biometrics, database, psychological orientation and training needs are being finalised.”
Governor Ortom urged his predecessor, Dr.Gabriel Suswam, who he said passed uncomplimentary comments about the Amnesty Programme to retrieve and surrender the weapons he bought and distributed to youths to prosecute his 2015 elections rather than criticism adding that security agents were determined to track and seize the weapons.