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Niger Delta: Dokubo tasks leaders of ex-agitators on peace, development

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The Coordinator, Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), Prof Charles Dokubo has urged leaders of Niger Delta ex-agitators to work towards the success of the programme for people in the region to enjoy its gains.

A statement issued on Tuesday in Abuja by his Special Assistant on Media, Mr Murphy Ganagana quoted Dokubo as expressing this at a meeting with 97 leaders of ex-agitators in Phase Two of the Amnesty Programme.

He harped on the need for the leaders of ex-agitators to key into the objectives of the programme in order to achieve unity of purpose for a better Niger Delta.

He also warned that the daunting challenges confronting the Niger Delta would not abate until leaders of the region including leaders of the ex-agitators reflect on their background and address the issues.

“The Amnesty Programme is more than ten years now and then the objective of the programme is mainly two things; to maintain peace and security in the Niger Delta and enhance human capital development in the region.

“The Amnesty Programme is to provide the enabling environment for people in the Niger Delta to key into the programme and achieve development.

“Look at the Niger Delta and the number of interventionist agencies that have been put in there – NDDC, Ministry of Niger Delta and the Amnesty Programme.

“No other part of Nigeria has the same number of agencies that deal with issues that we face.

“It is not about struggling over little issues, it is about a bigger picture of where the Niger Delta will be in the next ten years.

“How can we create a Niger Delta in which people will find jobs in industries that are the mainstay of the economy that are located in our region?

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“The only way forward is to have a common understanding of the Amnesty Programme in the midst of those who are here. Design a way on how to move the programme forward,” he said.

Dokubo said that the meeting was to forge a better understanding with leaders of ex-agitators in the Niger Delta towards deepening peace in the region.

“This meeting today will be a meeting of minds. I am here to be better informed and also for you to hear me out what my vision of this programme is all about.

“Today, we will sit down, draw a roadmap, highlight the past and take an objective that will help us achieve the aims and objectives of the Amnesty Programme for the Niger Delta.

“Let us work together because the Niger Delta problem is bigger than me; it is bigger than all of us here. So, you do not have to like me to work with me to make this programme,” he said.

In his remark, Mr Aso Tambo, the Chairman of Phase Two leaders of Niger Delta ex-agitators, commended Dokubo for initiating the interactive session, which he said, would enhance efforts at deepening peace in the region.

“My take on today’s meeting as leader of 6,166 persons including my fellow camp leaders present in this August meeting, is that Prof Dokubo has credibly discussed with us and agreed that the programme has to move forward.

“And of course, he has been doing it. Since he assumed office, he has been paying our monthly stipends of N65, 000 without failure; people on scholarship within the country and abroad are adequately being catered for.

“Our students in our local universities are no longer crying that their allowances have been delayed, because he has been paying regularly as soon as funds are released by the Federal Government,” Tambo said.

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