n Conflict Trends - Post-amnesty programme in the Niger Delta : challenges and prospects

Volume 2011, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 1561-9818


The most current issue that resonates in the Niger Delta discourse is the amnesty programme. This was introduced by the late President Yar'Adua in 2009, against a groundswell of violent conflicts in the region and threats the violence portended for the Nigerian state, including reduction in revenues accruing from oil sales. Amnesty in the Niger Delta region can be traced back to 1967, when the Yakubu Gowon regime pardoned the Niger Delta Volunteer Force (NDVF) - including its leader, Isaac Adaka Boro - for the insurgency fomented by the group in 1966. However, the unconditional amnesty granted in 2009 embraced not just a group, but all militant groups in the Niger Delta region that participated in militancy. This amnesty encouraged militants to take advantage of a 60-day window (6 August-4 October 2009) to disarm and assent on the amnesty register as evidence of their unconditional acceptance of the amnesty, in a bid to build peace in the region. As an outcome of the amnesty programme, the disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration (DDR) programme - which is extremely pertinent to peacebuilding and serves as a basis for short-, medium- and long-term development - was put in place. But to what extent has the post-amnesty programme achieved its objectives since its inception in 2009? In answering this question, there is the need to outline briefly the origin of militancy in the Niger Delta region, which resulted in the post-amnesty deal.

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