Ex-agitators reject interim administrator for Amnesty Programme —
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Ex-agitators reject interim administrator for Amnesty Programme

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…insist on substantive head

Ex-Niger Delta militants have urged President Muhammadu Buhari to appoint a substantive head for the Presidential Amnesty Programme, PAP, saying that the recent appointment of an interim administrator is not acceptable to them.

The president had on Thursday, August 27, sacked Prof. Charles Dokubo from his role as the coordinator of PAP and approved the appointment of General Milland Dixion Dikio (rtd), as interim administrator with effect from August 21, 2020.

But rising from a stakeholders’ meeting in Port-Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, the ex-agitators advised President Buhari to jettison the idea of an interim administrator and appoint a substantive head for the programme.

In a statement signed by the General Camp Leader, Urashi, Imo State, Amaechi Adibuo and the leader of Bakana Akukrokro Fie Bakana, Melvin Thompson, they pleaded with the president to appoint a substantive head, “as the powers of an interim administrator are limited and the duration of the appointment uncertain.”

This, according to them, makes it almost impossible for the appointee to develop any permanent agenda that can address the challenges of the programme.

The ex-agitators, however, lamented the huge funds released for PAP, but were allegedly misapplied by those entrusted with the management of the Programme.

They noted that “most of the former Heads of the Programme, rather than face the mandate of the PAP, fell to the whims and caprices of purported leaders of the Niger Delta region, whose main interest was amassing unimaginable wealth for themselves and their families to the detriment of training and empowering beneficiaries of the Programme that are still stranded years after accepting the federal government’s amnesty.”

They, however, commended President Buhari for ensuring the continuous payment of stipends to the beneficiaries and also praised him for his determination to ensure that the region benefits from the development plan of the federal government.

They therefore urged him to pay priority attention to the judicious utilisation of the scarce resources allocated for the development of the region, especially through the established interventionist agencies.

Similarly, they advised leaders of the region, who do not bother about the realistic development and genuine empowerment of the youth, to steer clear of the programme.

The repentant militants vowed to henceforth, apply all legal means to expose and embarrass such leaders for the general benefits of the youth in particular and the region as a whole.

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