A press release by the Minister of Information and Communications, Prof. Dora Akunyili, stated that, “the government believes Amnesty’s position is a gross misrepresentation of its effort to ensure peace and development in the region. President Yar’adua, since inception, has constantly engaged the Niger Delta issue with a view to find a lasting solution.”
She also said that, “it is because of government’s commitment and desire to reverse age-long neglect of the Niger Delta that made the administration of His Excellency, Umar Yar’adua, to establish the Niger Delta Ministry. This is the first in the history of Nigeria that a Ministry was specifically established to address the challenges of the region. The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), another government intervention agency, has also been providing succour to the people through the provision of infrastructure and several other programmes.”
“The FG,” she said, “has also been committed to and the problems of militancy in the region. Only recently, the government declared a comprehensive amnesty package for militants and has indicated interest to free detained militant leader, Henry Okah and others.