N’Delta leaders list conditions to terminate Amnesty programme

THE PUNCH Newspaper-Chukwudi Akasike

SOME leaders in the Niger Delta region have given conditions for the termination of the Presidential Amnesty Programme.

The leaders, who were among stakeholders at a meeting in Yenagoa, agreed that the PAP could have a terminal date after the full integration of the 30,000 beneficiaries of the programme.

The meeting was organised by PAP’s Interim Administrator, Col. Dixon Milland Dikio (retd.), to deliberate on the future of the programme.

A statement issued after the meeting read, “After hours of deliberations, the meeting agreed that the PAP cannot run in perpetuity and should have a terminal date, subject to the full integration of the beneficiaries.

“The stakeholders agreed that the PAP could have a terminal date after the full integration of the 30,000 beneficiaries of the programme.

“Also, the leaders were unanimous in calling on the Federal Government to ensure that the programme was given the needed financial support to effectively implement the reintegration of the beneficiaries before it finally winds down.

“The meeting focused on the challenges identified to have bedevilled the Programme over the years.”

They called on Dikio to adopt drastic measures to address the cases of rot and corruption in the Amnesty Office by identifying all those who have used the programme as a conduit pipe and relieve them of their positions.

Lamenting that the bad eggs in the Amnesty Office had derailed the programme because of greed and fraudulent activities, the leaders stressed that until the corrupt cabal was flushed out, the crisis that rocked the PAP would still resurface.

They thanked the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), for appointing Dikio as the interim administrator and expressed optimism that with him, the objectives of the PAP would be realised.

On the issue of reintegration and empowerment, they advised Dikio to consider agriculture as a major component of his plans, and also to put the training centres of the PAP into operation.

In his remarks, Dikio said he decided to convene the stakeholders’ summit to personally interact with the custodians of the region.

He said the meeting afforded him insight into the plights of the people and promised to hold similar quarterly engagements in the region.

Dikio said the collective agreement that the programme should have a terminal date should be noted by all beneficiaries as it had been a contentious issue among most of them.

Also, Ijaw National Leader, Pa Edwin Clark, represented by former Permanent Secretary Federal Ministry of Power, Ambassador Godknows Igali, said Dikio had started well and should be encouraged to remain focused.


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