ABUJA, April 14 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. Embassy in Nigeria has issued visas to 34 former Niger Delta militants to study courses related to oil and gas and engineering, an official has said.
Kingsley Kuku, the special assistant to the president on Niger Delta affairs, said in Abuja on Wednesday at a meeting with the former militants from the region that some 4,000 militants had benefited from the various training programs since the government gave them amnesty.
The Nigerian government, under the late Musa Yar'Adua proclaimed amnesty for the militants in 2009 in which 20,192 of them surrendered their arms.
He said the 34 selected former militants would leave for the U. S.shortly after the general elections.
Kuku said he was meeting with the former militants to inform them of the success so far recorded in the amnesty program.
He said there had been a tremendous achievement in the implementation of the program which he said had boosted oil production in the area in recent times.
The special assistant called on the former militants to regard the program as a rare opportunity for the people of the region in areas of training and various skills programs in the country and abroad.
He urged them to support President Goodluck Jonathan in Saturday 's presidential election to sustain the program.