Our children are living like prisoners of war in USA, say parents
Parents of 43 students studying under the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) in the United States yesterday raised the alarm on how their children are now being treated like Prisoners of war(PoW) in America as the amnesty office has since abandoned them. The parents of the teenagers have, therefore, appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to save the lives and education of their children.
Speaking with The Guardian after issuing a joint statement in Yenagoa, Mr. Kingsley Feboke, Mr. Ayente Douglas and Mrs. Victoria Feboke, on behalf of other parents, said their children were enrolled in universities in America through the office of the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta Special Scholarship for Crisis Impacted Communities in the region.
They said the scholarship scheme was a windows created by former President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration for youths from crisis impacted areas to be captured under the Amnesty programme, adding that the students were sent to the United States by the PAP.
They complained that the authorities in the Amnesty Office and Kaplan Consultants were playing politics with the education and lives of their children as the programme was no longer moving smoothly due to alleged disagreement with the Amnesty office and the consultants.
The parents said: “We are constrained to raise the alarm because our children have been abandoned in the United States and are being treated as Prisoners of War.
“These children are between the ages of 16 and 17. We got report that the Amnesty Office is considering revoking the contract with Kaplan (the consultants).
“We understand that Kaplan has a valid and subsisting contract with the Amnesty Office where students are enrolled in higher institutions in the United States after undergoing a globally recognised educational foundation training otherwise called Pathway Programme.
“The pathway programme prepares students from developing nations for the purpose of studying in developed countries such as the USA and the United Kingdom. These 43 Niger Delta students were beneficiaries under the Third Phase for communities impacted by violence and armed conflicts.
“They were successful in this programme that was run at Kaplan International College in Lagos for nine months, and thereafter, proceeded to the Northeastern university in Massachussets for a three-month summer Bridge programme after which they proceeded to their chosen universities to start the second year of their Bachelor’s degree.”
The parents said unfortunately since the appointment of Brig.-Gen. Paul Boroh (rtd), as Amnesty Coordinator, the office had allegedly refused to address the welfare of the students.
They said that the Amnesty office failure to pay the tuition fees, accommodation, books and allowances of the students had almost resulted in throwing the children to the streets of America.
They mulled that the development was capable of causing national embarrassment and had the potential of compromising the diplomatic relationship between the US and Nigeria in view of the high level agreement between the two countries that resulted in issuance of visa for the children.
The worried parents appealed to President Buhari to intervene in the matter because all their entreaties had fallen on deaf ears and their children were being thrown out from their various schools owing to the refusal of their sponsors (Amnesty office) to meet their financial obligation
They added: “The possible psychological effect of their withdrawal from the programme and what this could portend for future peace and conflict dynamics in the Niger Delta and Nigeria will not augur well for us all.
We plead with the Presidency to intervene as a matter of urgency because these children and being threatened of deportation in shortest possible future.”
Also speaking, Mrs. Faboke, said all attempts to see General Boroh has so far yielded no results, lamenting what they have to face everyday knowing what their children are going through over there.
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