Nigeria's Amnesty Offer Seen Doubtful by Critics
Special to the NNPA from GIN | 7/29/2009, 3:07 p.m.
(GIN) €" Critics of the administration of Nigerian President Umaru Yar€Adua are expressing concerns that the amnesty offer being extended to rebels in the Niger Delta is a small payoff to allow petro dollars to resume their flow into private hands for €a continued orgy of looting.€
The 60-day amnesty offer, to take effect on Thur., Aug. 6, would grant a monthly stipend of 20,000 naira ($130), supplemented by a daily food allowance to rebels who lay down their weapons. Up to 10,000 militants in the Niger Delta could benefit from the offer.
But observers are skeptical that the amnesty will halt attacks on the oil industry. Royal Dutch Shell and the Chevron Corp have been particularly hard hit by attacks on their Nigeria installations in recent months. €The quick fix, it seems, is here,€ said Nigerian writer Ogaga Ifowodo. €[Rebel leader] Okah will be expected€ to disarm and disband his troops. Peace will return to the creeks and the waters of the coast will be calmed for uninterrupted flow and exportation of oil and gas. Petro dollars will once again flow unhindered into the national booty fund misnamed the treasury for the continued orgy of looting.
€In the interim, a few bones will be thrown from the crowded banquet tables in Abuja to the hapless souls of the delta: a hastily paved one-season road here and there€ a school that in effect boasts nothing more than crooked walls and a blackboard, a few clinics and dispensaries that wouldn€t pass a Red Cross first aid test.€
Other critics say the amnesty is unlikely to work because the unrest is not a straightforward political struggle but involves economic and land rights.
Nigeria vies with Angola as Africa€s biggest oil producer and is the fifth-biggest source of U.S. oil imports.
Nigeria vies with Angola as Africa€s biggest oil producer and is the fifth-biggest source of U.S. oil imports.Nigeria vies with Angola as Africa€s biggest oil producer and is the fifth-biggest source of U.S. oil imports.Nigeria vies with Angola as Africa€s biggest oil producer and is the fifth-biggest source of U.S. oil imports.