Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta and Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), Prof. Charles Dokubo, has noted at the weekend that the federal government will continue to prioritise the development of the Niger Delta through the Presidential Amnesty Programme in line with the vision of the programme as a necessary and veritable tool to transform the hitherto restive oil rich region.
Dokubo who spoke in Abuja at a commemorative rally to mark the struggle for the emancipation of the Niger Delta spearheaded by the late Major Isaac Boro, said the vision of the government is what has continued to inform President Buhari’s commitment to actualising the objectives of PAP.
The Boro Day is an annual event organised by the Ijaws in all states of the South-south and Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Dokubo noted that the Amnesty Programme is a direct reflection of late Boro’s desires for the Niger Delta people. “We are here today because of a journey he started some years ago.
What we do here is to symbolize the aspiration and the ambition of Boro. Amnesty is a direct reflection of his desires for the Niger Delta people.
‘‘The Federal Government of Nigeria under late President Yar’Adua took up the issue of Amnesty not because it was a difficult task, but because it was a necessary task and that is why this government is so committed to the Amnesty Programme. I have been around for just a year plus, and I have seen the desire of this government to make sure Amnesty survives and that the people of Niger Delta benefit immensely from the Programme that we run at the Amnesty office. It’s like some of us don’t even know the avenues that are open to us. If we can explore, exploit and make use of the available opportunities, Niger Delta will be a different place”.
Assuring on President Buhari’s determination to uplift the Niger Delta region, Dokubo explained some of his strategies to optimise the impact of the Amnesty Programme. “After assuming office, I tried to open the doors of my office to every Niger Delta person; I did that because I know it is necessary and also because I realised that we need equality of all Niger Delta people. There is no Niger Delta person that has come to my office and had gone back displeased.
“What I want to do is to de-emphasize dependence on N65, 000 monthly stipends by beneficiaries of the Amnesty Programme, so that Niger Delta people can work, earn and also enjoy themselves. If you earn what you are entitled to have, there will be a trickle effect; you have to pay your children’s school fees, you have to pay your rent, you have to take care of your family and do all the things that are required of a family man.
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