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Look beyond mentality of N65,000 monthly stipend, Dikko tells ex-militants

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Col. Milland Dixion Dikio


Interim Administrator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), Col. Milland Dikio (rtd.), has urged ex-agitators to elevate their mentality above the N65, 000 monthly stipends.

Dikio, who gave the charge to leaders of the second phase amnesty programme in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, lamented that the ex-militants had allowed the stipends to become their stronghold, which he said, had restricted them from harnessing their entrepreneurial potential.

Describing the stipend as inadequate, he urged the ex-agitators to be positive in their thinking and key into PAP’s vision of making them successful entrepreneurs to enable them to transcend the stipend regime.

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He said it was only reasonable to end the Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration (DDR) phase of the programme for a post-DDR stage of the scheme.

Dikio said for the region to move forward, the scheme must be changed from ‘amnesty’ to the Niger Delta Stabilisation Programme (NDSP), insisting that with the current status there were things management of the PAP could not do and countries it could not visit.

“We must establish the NDSP. We must change the name, terminate the DDR and open another phase. We can’t make progress in one place. My job is to make you think beyond the N65, 000 mentality,” he said.

He said the PAP was offering the ex-agitators a platform through the cooperative model to enable them to grow and own thriving businesses, adding that the beneficiaries of the scheme must organise themselves under cooperative societies.

Meanwhile, the PAP has initiated the process of forming the ex-militants into cooperative societies to enable them to own, manage their businesses and live beyond the N65, 000 stipends.

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Consequently, no fewer than 60 delegates of ex-militants selected for the pilot survey of the programme attended a workshop on modalities to set up cooperative societies organised by the PAP in Yenagoa.

Dikio, who declared the workshop open, said his office had commenced the process of making the ex-agitators self-reliant, entrepreneurs and employers of labour.

He said the essence of the sensitisation seminar for the cooperative society, was to expose beneficiaries of the programme to the several resources and opportunities in their environment and help them to create solutions that would make them financially independent.

Describing them as apostles of the initiative, he asked them to emulate on of the leaders, Bibopre Ajube, who rejected the stipend and chose to run businesses, which had made him rich.

Facilitator of the workshop and Team Lead of Grand Renaissance International Limited, Obinnaya Uruakpa, engaged the ex-agitators in pep talks and taught them ways of making and managing money.

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DDRMilland Dikio
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