Niger Delta leaders give condition for termination of amnesty programme
Niger Delta stakeholders have agreed that the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) could have a terminal date after full integration of the 30,000 beneficiaries of the programme.
They stated this during a meeting with the Interim Administrator of the Programme, Col. Dixon Milland Dikio (rtd.) in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State yesterday.
The stakeholders included traditional rulers, political leaders, past and present leaders of the Ijaw National Congress (INC) and the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC).
After hours of deliberations, the meeting agreed that the PAP could not run perpetually and should have a terminal date subject to the full integration of its beneficiaries.
The meeting also focused on the challenges that had faced the programme over the years.
Present at the meeting were pioneer president of the INC, Chief Joshua Fumudoh, former representative of Bayelsa East Senatorial District, Nimi Barigha-Amange, pioneer president of IYC, Dr. Felix Tuodolo, Chief T.k Ogoriba, President of IYC, Peter Igbifa, a former president of IYC, Udengs Eradiri and traditional ruler of Gbarain Ikpetiama Kingdom, King Bubaraye Dakolo, among others.
The stakeholders charged the Federal Government to ensure that the programme was given the needed financial support to effectively implement the reintegration of the beneficiaries before its termination.
They commended President Muhammadu Buhari for appointing Dikio Interim Administrator of the PAP and expressed hope that he would actualise the objectives of the PAP.
Continuing, they urged Dikio to adopt drastic measures in addressing the rot and corruption in the Amnesty Office by identifying those who have used the programme as a conduit pipe and sack them.
Lamented that the bad eggs in the Amnesty Office have derailed the programme due to their greed and fraudulent activities, the leaders stressed that until the corruption cabal was flushed out, the usual crisis that rocked the PAP would continue.
While seeking support for Dikio, the stakeholders commended him for embarking on the tour to the region, which they described as a positive indication of his desire to succeed in his assignment.
On the issue of reintegration and empowerment, they advised him to consider agriculture as a major component of his plans and also to operationalise the PAP training centres.
Responding, Dikio said he decided to convene the stakeholders’ summit to personally interact with the custodians of the region, adding that the meeting afforded him a better insight into the plight of the people and promised to hold quarterly engagements in the region.