President Yar’Adua’s amnesty for Niger Delta militants is set to expire next week. Although many people consider it to be a great feat of lateral thinking aimed at curbing the violence in the Niger Delta, some people NOT involved in insurgency have criticised the plan for rewarding armed violence. Rather than discourage violence in the Niger Delta, critics say that by paying militants for handing in their weapons, the government is rewarding them for violence and kidnapping.
Some residentsin the Delta not involved in violence say it is they, and not militants who should be financially compensated. Additionally a miliant who goes by the name “Osama Bin Laden” (real name Solomon Ndigbara) has threatened to resort to violence if he is not allowed to have a handshake with President Yar’Adua, and a house in Abuja. Is the amnesty turning into an economic exercise?