I am not usually this cynical but seriously, I will want to wait and see how effective this pardon will be. Nobody has said anything about addressing even the remote causes of the militancy in the first place. We are still expecting the Niger Delta 'Marshal Plan' that had been promised for so long and now we have an Amnesty. I just love this country.
Listening to the President proclaiming the Amnesty, something rang insincere in the words. A kind of bravado to mask a helplessness. What I will call 'ogboju of the highest order'. I believe even Yar'adua did not believe what he was reading. MKO Abiola would have called it 'clapping with one hand'. A resounding silence.
Some respected voices in the Niger Delta have suggested that that there should have been an Armistice before the Amnesty. Instructively, the MEND struck Shell again a little while after Yar'adua read the Amnesty Proclamation.
Some others have began to define who is a militant and who is a criminal in the context of the Amnesty. This has already set the stage for all manner of creatures to come crawling out of the rotten woodwork of the Niger Delta -bearing all kinds of rusty flintlocks and dysfunctional dane guns and machetes - calling themselves militants. It is boon for the criminals.
According to my extremely learned friend, Abadingo Abadanga ESQ of the illustrious firm of Abadingo, Abednego and Co, this simply buttresses his time-honored maxim of 'Ist nolle prosequi im ceteris paribus'.
That is to say, 'If you wan commit offense, e better make you commit de one wey be say when dem carry you reach court, the Judge sef go just look your case free you ; because your matter don pass the Law or in other words, your case is Over-the-Bar'.
Some other sources say that there is more to this than meets the eye. That is, knowing the family politics of the Niger Delta, it is possible that someone, somewhere may not want to be seen as aiding and supporting militancy in the Niger Delta particularly if it is close in the family.
No be my mouth dem go hear say Oga brother na criminal - sorry, militant.
Abadingo also told me that not all criminals are outlaws, some are in-laws.