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Akeredolu advocates expansion of PAP to curb Niger Delta unrest

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[FILES] Akeredolu

Ondo State Governor Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN) has urged the federal government to continuously review and expand the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) to accommodate more youths, thereby curbing unrest in the Niger Delta.

Speaking in Abuja at the weekend, Akeredolu solicited inclusion of some youths who were recently disarmed and granted amnesty by the state government.

Appraising the performance of PAP under the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta, Prof. Charles Dokubo, the governor expressed conviction of the coordinator’s commitment to the development of Niger Delta.

While on a courtesy visit to Dokubo’s Abuja office, he said that his host had, within a short period in the saddle, demonstrated a clear commitment to the objectives of the programme.

Ondo is among the nine states covered by the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).

“We are here to discuss matters that have to do with amnesty as they affect our people in Ondo State. It is not the first time I have met him. Prof. Dokubo is from Niger Delta and is committed to this programme (Amnesty); that, he has shown today. He has a personal commitment to everything that has to do with Niger Delta because he is one of them.

“I think a few things have been done by him (Dokubo), and from my discussion with him, there must be continuous assessment of this programme, at least, to be sure that people do not take advantage of it. If you have had opportunity to be trained or you have gone to school, then help yourself and don’t deny others the opportunity to come into the scheme.

“Don’t think that the government has all the funds in this world to spend. People who have been trained should not expect money anymore,” he said.

On his part, Dokubo expressed the willingness of PAP to train more Niger Delta youths at the world-class training facility which he completed and activated, if state governments in the region were ready to pay monthly stipends for their delegates.

“But if we have to involve non-beneficiaries of the programme in our trainings without payment of stipends, I will not be happy or willing to do so because that will be discriminatory. I can assist you with the training, but that means they will have to receive stipends from Ondo State government,” he noted.


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