Fifty graduands sponsored by the Presidential Amnesty Program for under-water diving welding and diving at CDA Technical Institute in St. Kitts and Nevis of West Indies on Tuesday disowned the alleged claim of fraud and illegal fund diversion against the Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) and Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta Affairs, Brigadier-General Paul Boroh (rtd), has been deceiving the people and allegedly amassing wealth from the PAP to the detriment of the region.
According to the graduands, though there was a delay in the procurement of visas by the Amnesty Vendor and the Federal Government from the French Transits Visas through the French Embassy in St.Lucia, the Amnesty Office led by Brig. Gen. Paul Boroh never abandoned us and we are on our way home after completion of our programme.
The graduands, who spoke yesterday with newsmen in Yenagoa online from St.Kitts and Nevis,though a few disgruntled student engaged a counsel identified as Barrister Kelechi,but it was not meant to discredit the Amnesty Office or cast aspersions on the Federal Government,” What happened is this; someone called us from Nigeria to ask how we were doing and if we have concluded our training, we told him, yes, that we’ve completed our training and awaiting French transit Visas to return home”
“He asked us if we have seen the publication in Sun Newspapers, in which Gen. Boroh was quoted as saying that we are 70 in number to St.Kitts and has since return home, we said no, he said he was going send us a scanned copy, which he later did. This caused some kind of confusion and uproar amongst us, some believing the reports, while some didn’t. He later asked us to send a group picture and signed letter to show that we were 50 students and are still in St.Kitts and Nevis, at this point there was further arguments amongst us, whether there was any need for us to write a letter and sign that we were still here, eventually some signed others refused”.
“The next thing we saw was a report on an online medium by Barrister Kelechi claiming that we have retained his services to petition or sue the Amnesty program, we are totally baffled, as this is totally false. Barrister Kelechi simply tricked us into to sending him a letter, that’ll help him pursue his own hidden agenda. We are not part of it and that’s why we have made a youtube video to tell the whole world how we were deceived by Barrister Kelechi into a fight with the Federal Government that has given us a meal ticket for life.”
Also speaking in condemning what the Lawyers has done, Diver Jackson Eremie, who emerged as the best graduating student said; ” “We are not so ungrateful as to bite the fingers that feed us . The truth, he said; “Most of us here have been in the diving profession for a sometime now and understands the pain of not having DCBC-IMCA certification. Right now as I speak to you, I feel is like a chartered account…It is not easy to get DCBC-IMCA and the CDA Technical Institute is a world class diving academy. We are all happy and proud to be here.”
“Infact some of us are living and loving the Caribbean, we have remained focus to our goals and has made troubles or done anything that’ll bring shame and embarrassment to our country. I am at lost where all this is coming from, If barrister Kelechi has scores to settle with Gen. Boroh, he should drag us into it. Personally, I want to thank the Amnesty program and Federal Government enough for giving me this great opportunity. Finding work is not a problem for me, as I already have offers for jobs in Nigeria”.
David Ben, another of the divers, commended the Federal Government for the opportunity to participate in the Amnesty programme,”I want to thank the Federal Government for giving me this opportunity to obtain my DCBC-IMCA certification, I am from Brass LGA, I had earlier and trained in India in 2012, on my return to Nigeria, my LGA Chairman took me to Agip for employment, they were ready to employ but because I didn’t have a DCBC-IMCA certification I was not employed, but since coming to the CDA technical Institute, I have to realize the difference between a diver and an IMCA certified diver. Today, I have mastered how to use power-tool, power drills, chainsaw under water to salvage sunken boats, or material for that matter under water”.
Diver Omoko Zebeni, from Delta State is also full of praises for the Amnesty Program and the Federal Government giving him the opportunity to become a DCBC-IMCA certified commercial. “Before they use to call us Creek Divers, but with this certification now, I can now work offshore and rob shoulders with the big boys. I believe there are some people are envious of our achievement and want to put into trouble. But what will they gain from setting us up against the Federal Government?. To dive underwater to 165m deep in is a child’s play.”
“It’s those who do not know the value of the qualifications they have obtained, that are making trouble for us, personally, I was saving money to pay for this course on my own before Amnesty offered me the opportunity, so why I should I quarrel with them? I am just laughing at those who want trouble, this Amnesty program will not last forever. As for work, I know I am going to get work as soon I get back.”