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Prepare for end of amnesty programme, Charles Dokubo tells beneficiaries

By Igho Akeregha, Abuja Bureau
05 December 2019   |   3:51 am
Presidential Adviser on Niger Delta and Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), Professor Charles Dokubo, has advised the 30,000 beneficiaries of the scheme

Presidential Adviser on Niger Delta and Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), Professor Charles Dokubo, has advised the 30,000 beneficiaries of the scheme to prepare for an end to the stipends being paid to support their skills acquisition and capacity building.

He said the intervention of the Amnesty Programme had enabled ex-militants in the region who signed on to be beneficiaries to be equipped with the requisite knowledge and skills with 12 of them recently receiving first-class degrees from the Afe Babalola University in Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State.

Speaking at a media briefing in Abuja, Dokubo said he had a mandate of redirecting and completing the Amnesty Programme and urged the current beneficiaries to take their training seriously to make them employable and for them to employ others.

He cautioned against the belief in the Niger Delta that the programme was designed as part of their entitlement to oil wealth from the region.

“The beneficiaries now want to stay on the programme forever and even rejecting job offers of N50000. This is not good as the people feel a sense of entitlement and are unaware that the scheme will not last forever, because everything that has a beginning must have an end,” Dokubo said.

He disclosed that since the commencement of the programme by the late former President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, over 10,000 ex-agitators from the region have been trained in various vocations and universities locally and abroad.

He said the Amnesty Office was faced with many problems including the one posed by a Vendors Association, which in the past, collected 15 per cent contract mobilisation, but failed to execute the jobs, which left the region largely neglected.

“We now deal with individuals who have the capacity to deliver on the contracts given to them. I have stopped the cesspool of corruption in the place and I can understand why those who were benefiting from the corruption are campaigning against me,” he added.

Dokubo said he inherited 30,000 beneficiaries when he assumed office and since then, the number had remained the same, meaning that none of the beneficiaries had died.

“They now see the scheme as a family business as children now take the place of their parents who may have died,” he added.

While appealing to the people of the region for a change of attitude, he maintained that President Muhammadu Buhari has good intentions for them by retaining the programme and reminded the beneficiaries to brace up for a time when the scheme would eventually end.