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Group accuses Reps of ulterior motives in amnesty probe

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A Niger Delta Group, the Watchdog for Progressive Ijaw (WPI) has accused the House of Representatives Committee on Public Accounts of ulterior motives against the region following its investigation of the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP).

It queried the lawmakers for investigating PAP at a time when the Interim Administrator, Col. Milland Dixon Dikio (rtd.) was making impact and actualising the original purpose of the programme.

Coordinator of WPI, Lambart Olambo, said the group was not against probing Dikio, but insisted that all those who had headed the PAP in the past should be investigated and not just Dikio.

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“A successor cannot be answerable to the actions of his predecessors. We are not against probing Dikio and we know that Dikio himself will not stop any probe against his administration. But any probe of his management must be based on his activities and not on the activities of his predecessors.

“If past administrators mismanaged the PAP and the committee is interested in probing them, it should invite those who were responsible for such mismanagement. All the past coordinators are alive and can be invited to defend their actions,” he said.

He pointed out that since the presidency proclaimed the programme, the committee had not initiated moves to probe the financial dealings and activities of past PAP coordinators despite several calls by stakeholders to do so following allegations of financial misappropriation against them.

“We complained, we protested and petitioned past PAP coordinators, who deviated from the mandate of the programme, misappropriated funds and were even linked to contract scams, but the lawmakers failed to initiate any probe.

“What has really changed that they have now started probing PAP at a time its original intent and purpose are being realised by Dikio? Could it be that the current positive change in PAP is negatively affecting the lawmakers? He queried.

Olambo said it would be unacceptable for the lawmakers to subject Dikio to interrogation of financial activities that occurred in PAP in 2015, over five years before he assumed leadership of the amnesty office.

“Dikio has come to make a difference and we don’t want anybody to distract him. He has come to correct the ills of the amnesty office and for the first time, it has been returned to its owners in the Niger Delta,” he added.

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