Former militants have been told to stop distracting the Coordinator of the presidential amnesty program and Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta, Professor Charles Dokubo with incessant protest.
The former militants are rather being urged to explore other channels of communications within the amnesty office to resolve grievances.
Condemning the recent protest by some ex militants at the Bayelsa end of the East West road a group, Niger Delta Amnesty Vendors’ Association at a meeting with ex-militant leaders in Warri, Delta state said the ex agitators should work for the success of the Presidential amnesty Coordinator, Prof Dokubo.
“Our attention has however been drawn to the recent protest along the Bayelsa state section of the East-West road calling on the president to sack Prof. Charles Dokubo for some frivolous reasons that even they, the protesters are still at a loss at how to properly convey and some other faceless petitioners who have persisted with petitions that started a month into the tenure, leaving us to wonder the indices used for judging an administration in its first month.
We all are aware of these mischief-makers and their baseless allegations aimed at denting the image of a hardworking man, destabilising the rhythm we now have, and in effect influencing another sad failure of the programme.
While we are concerned on the likely misinformation and sentiments it can cause to the reading public on the character and style of the new leadership, our greater worry is the wrong notion it might send to others on the intent of Niger Deltans towards their fellow Niger Deltans, and the sad fate is that it seems as if the region cannot produce a qualified personality to lead the office even after given a reputable professor the responsibility to manage the programme.”
The group in a communiqué at the end of the meeting signed by seven persons also called on the federal government to effectively fund the amnesty program, adding that it should reduce the unnecessary bottlenecks slowing operations of the amnesty office. Those who signed the communiqué were Comrade Tari Okosi , president, Eferebo I. Sylvanus Secretary , Evang. Samson Fetimi, Provost, Ebierebo Okeze Success (JP) Treasurer, Pastor Sampson Dabbey, Chairman Elders/Advisory council Bishop Benaebi Jumbo, PRO and Comrd. Eminence Tiyenabeso Head, Technical / Job Placement Advisory Committee.
The group also enjoined the federal government to release funds timely to the amnesty office to achieve its goals, adding that the national assembly should restructure the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, Ministry of Niger Delta to enhance efficiency.
“We passionately appeal to the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari (GCFR) to address the bottlenecks surrounding the disbursement of funds to the Amnesty office and also consider increasing the Budget for the office.
The National Assembly should as a matter of urgency readdress the policy framework governing the operations of other Niger delta interventionist agencies such as the NDDC and the ministry of Niger Delta to adequately address the immediate need of the people”
They also hailed some of the success of Prof Dokubo within the few months he has led the amnesty program in the region.
“ He has funding contractor that had brought about the completion of technical Vocational training centre on oil and gas located at Agadagba in Arogbo kingdom of Ondo state.
He , as a matter of urgency established a Job Placement and Engagement Department to collaborate with the already existing Post-training and Empowerment units under the Reintegration Department of the office, the Niger Delta Indigenous Artisan Association with several other direct labor engaging professional associations to ensure proper prequalification training and on the job placement of over 100 backlogged delegates who had been trained and left idle since 2010.
Professor Dokubo also pushed the administration of the programme closer to the people by establishing State Liaison Offices of the programme to enable people have access. This has in turn created new jobs for those who manage the offices. “
Some of the ex militants who spoke at the meeting pleaded that the amnesty office should productively engage them, saying after their training on different skills they had been idle.