The exploitation of natural resources and the associated marginalization of indigenous occupants of areas with such endowments continue to act as a major driving force for conflicts around the world especially in Africa. In Nigeria’s Niger Delta region, the major triggers of resource-based violent conflicts have been the subject matter of many academics and policy analysts. The introduction of several peace strategies especially the Federal Government of Nigeria’s Amnesty programme notwithstanding, pockets of violent activities generate questions as to the sustainability of the programme. This study examines the sustainability of the Federal Government’s Amnesty Programme in the Niger Delta region. The main objective is to provide empirical evaluation of the programme in the light of its strategy in delivering peace to the region not only in the short-term but also in the long-term. Consequently, relying on the philosophy of the relative deprivation theory, descriptive and Chi-Square (χ2) statistical tool, the study revealed that the amnesty does not address the issues that underpinned the genesis of violent agitations in the pre-amnesty era. As a result, the amnesty as a peace strategy is not sustainable. Hence, the inability to address issues such as adverse human development, inadequate infrastructure, environmental degradation and poverty among others strongly undermines the Amnesty programme as a viable peace strategy. Given these findings, the study suggests among others, a broad-based multi-stakeholder approach that draws on private sectors resources and competence in order to sustain the gains of the amnesty programme if it is to bring about lasting peace in the region.
Keywords: Violent agitation, Federal government of Nigeria, amnesty programme, sustainable peace strategy, Niger Delta region.