Why ex-militants are yet to get stipends, by amnesty coordinator
The Coordinator, Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), Prof. Charles Dokubo has explained that the delay in payment of stipends to beneficiaries of the scheme for last month was caused by an unforeseen procedural bureaucracy in the chain of disbursement of monthly allocations by the Federal Government.
Regretting the development, Dokubo spoke yesterday when he received a delegation of the Ijaw National Congress (INC) led by the chairman and secretary of its steering committee, Prof. Joseph Ajienka and DIG Mike Zuokumor (rtd) in Abuja.
As a non-revenue generating organisation that solely depends on monthly releases from government for its operations, the coordinator said: “We appeal to our beneficiaries to be patient and bear with us till funds are made available to enable us perform our obligations.”
Until last month, Dokubo said he had ensured prompt payment of stipends to beneficiaries of the programme upon receipt of funds.
He assured the ex-fighters that payment would be made as soon as funds were released to the Amnesty Office.
The umbrella body of the Izon ethnic nationality said it fully supports measures taken by Dokubo in repositioning the programme to achieve its original mandate.
The group made the pledge in a letter of solidarity and commendation handed to the PAP chief to applaud his one-year stewardship.
The INC noted in the document signed by Ajienka and Zuokumor that Dokubo deserved the support of all well-meaning Ijaw and other ethnic nationalities in the Niger Delta in view of his commitment to transforming the region.
“We wish to commend you on all the good work you are doing since you assumed leadership position of the Presidential Amnesty Office. We stand by you always and pray that the Almighty God will always lead you aright,” the letter reads in part.
Zuokumor explained that the foremost Ijaw organisation resolved to throw its weight behind the Amnesty boss in consideration of his efforts in training and empowerment of beneficiaries of the initiative as well as prompt payment of monthly allowances.
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