Ex-militant leaders from the nine states of the Niger Delta region yesterday, intervened in the report plan by the Amnesty office to withdraw indigent beneficiaries of the foreign scholarship programme under the Presidential Amnesty programme over alleged irregularities in the selection process.
They urged the Amnesty office to rescind the decision as beneficiaries are indigenes of the region.
According to the ex-militant leaders, under the first phase amnesty programme, those alleged to have benefitted from the foreign Scholarship programme are either former militants or indigenes of various impacted communities of the region.
The former militant leaders, made up of Ezekiel Akpasbowei, Henry Benedodoghe, Gravilla Egbela, Franklin Duduku, Igwu Emeka and Nico
Sintei, Chief Omoh Tonwerighe and Andrew Voko, made this known at an enlarged meeting held at the residence of Comrade Wilson Cliford known along the creeks as Gen Pastor Reuben in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, stated that the Presidential Amnesty Coordinator, Professor Charles Dokubo should reconsider the decision on the recall of Scholarship beneficiaries under the programme back home in Nigeria.
“The decision should be rescinded and the Amnesty program should be implemented to accommodate all students into the Amnesty back because they are all from Niger Delta regardless of the suspicion on whether they were smuggled into the scheme.”
“These are scholarship beneficiaries from Niger Delta communities that were impacted in one way or the other by the contentious issues of the region.”
“The Ex-agitators also want the coordinator to have a listening hear to the voices of leaders of militants on how best to handle issues of Amnesty programmes by showing care to the leaders and followers, particularly on their welfare. They vow to give him their full support to excel in the set mandate of the amnesty program.”
The Ex-militant leaders also urged the Presidential Amnesty Coordinator to intervene and prevail on the Niger Delta Development Commission and the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs to assist in the needed development of the region, “Our people in the region are law abiding and have resolved to shun violence that are inimical to the growth of the region. And we urge politicians to desist from
igniting the region and halting its economic activities.”
On the performance of the Presidential Amnesty office under Professor Charles Dokubo, the Ex-militant leaders threw their weight behind the
leadership of the Amnesty office and passed a vote of confidence on him and his team.
According to the Ex-militant leaders, their support and decision to pass a vote of confidence on the Presidential Amnesty Coordinator, Charles Dokubo was based on his new style of leadership that has
injected a new life into the Amnesty programme.
According to the ex-militants, “there is a new lease of life and improved quality in handling of the affairs of the Amnesty programme.
“We have thrown our support behind the recent leadership of the Amnesty and as such, we have passed a vote of confidence on recent Amnesty coordinator, Professor Charles Dokubo. We note that the new leadership has brought a new lease of life and quality to bear in handling the affairs of the Amnesty programme.”
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