Amnesty boss unveils new vision, tasks ex-agitators on peace in Niger Delta
Interim Administrator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), Col. Milland Dixon Dikio (rtd.), has assured ex-agitators of prompt and full payment of their monthly stipends.
He gave the assurance in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, at the weekend, during a meeting with the leadership of phase 1, 2 and 3 of the programme.
Dikio, who is on a tour of the Niger Delta region, said the prompt payment of the stipends was part of the far-reaching reforms he has introduced to the PAP, adding that there was too much bureaucracy in the system, which often resulted in delays of payment of the N65, 000 monthly stipend.
He said the tour to the region was aimed at taking the programme back to the people, which was the original idea at inception, insisting that the PAP was designed especially for ex-agitators and as such, those who are not ex-agitators are strangers to the programme.
“Some people had told me that coming to the region was not safe. Why should I be in office and not visit my area of operation? So, I said I must visit the region so that we can see eyeball to eyeball, let me hear from you the issues so that together we can begin to discuss how to move on.
“I was in Okochiri in Okrika where I met with the Big 5 in King Ateke Tom’s palace to reinforce my vision for the PAP and it was a fruitful meeting. Over time, people have confused the programme for the package, but they are different and it is good that you understand that so that we can all be on the same page.
“Since I came, I have undertaken some reforms to ensure that we get it right. So, the issue of your monthly stipends will be paid on the 25th of every month. It is not rocket science. All that was needed to do was to put the accounting process in order,” he said.
Dikio appealed to the ex-agitators to work for the peace and development of the region by supporting the new direction and vision of the PAP under his watch, lamenting that the Niger Delta region had suffered bad publicity because of the unguided actions of a few people.