A Non-Governmental Organisation, African Global Development for Positive Change Initiative (ADI), believes the recent appointment of Prof. Charles Dokubo as the Coordinator, Presidential Amnesty Programme, will go a long way in boosting the nation’s education sector as a tool to bring the much needed sanity, development, and peace in the Niger-Delta, reports ANGELEEN NKWOCHA.
It is no longer news that the oil-producing states in the nation’s Niger-Delta region have over the years been confronted with developmental challenges and fear of deprivation of the rich resources embedded in the area.
These manifested in several agitations, with some of the youths taking up arms to protest against the hitherto brazen neglect of the area by successive administrations and oil companies, until the Federal Government under the late President Umaru Yar’Ardua initiated an amnesty scheme aimed at disarming the aggrieved youths as well as provide them with sustainable means of livelihood.
While successive administrations continue with the Presidential Amnesty Programme, which also ensures near-seamless oil exploration activities in the region, the determination of the present government to reposition the programme to meet the yearnings and aspirations of the people appears to have led to the recent appointment of Prof. Charles Dokubo as its coordinator.
This move has elicited commendations from stakeholders even as a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), African Global Development for Positive Change Initiative (ADI), expressed optimism that the appointment of Prof. Dokubo will give a boost to the education sector, bring the needed sanity, development and peace in the Niger-Delta.
The NGO, whose aim is to empower youths educationally to sustain development, peace and security, made its view on the appointment of Prof. Dokubo known through its President, Prince Dan Mbachi.
Mbachi applauded Dokubo’s focus to reintegrate those who have benefited from the amnesty programme and get them engaged with jobs in their various areas of specialization, and his drive to sustain education related initiatives of the programme, stressing that education is vital to the growth of the nation.
He described the amnesty programme as a huge success given the achievements the programme has recorded so far, adding that the mandate of the office is focused on achieving peace and human capacity development in the Niger Delta region, by empowering them.
“African Global Development for Positive Change Initiative (ADI) is optimistic that the appointment of Charles Dokubo as the co-coordinator of amnesty programme will bring the primary mandates of the programme to lime light and record laudable achievements in the area of education (both technical), security, agriculture, entrepreneurship, skills acquisition and empowerments.
“It will bring an end to armed conflict in the Niger Delta, because of his efforts to establish a regular forum with the leaders of beneficiaries which ensure effective interaction and communication leading to the peaceful resolution of issues.
“We are confident that the programme under his watch will see to the prompt payment of offshore and onshore beneficiaries school fees in Nigeria, Europe, United States, Asia, and Africa at large and will contribute immensely to human capital development under its scholarship scheme, “ Mbachi said.
Speaking further, he said the primary aim of the amnesty programme is to cater for the 30,000 beneficiaries and some youths from the impacted community who took amnesty, and to work for peace in the Niger Delta, even as he expressed appreciation to President Muhammadu Buhari for his commitment and dedication to sustainable peace and development in the Niger-Delta through his support and continuation of the Presidential Amnesty Programme and for appointing Dokubo to be at the helm of its affairs.
“We also appeal to the Federal Government of Nigeria for the sustainability of the programme, which has achieved its mandate of ensuring peace and stability in the Niger-Delta region of Nigeria,” he added.
Mbachi said the amnesty programme has sponsored beneficiaries in various skills acquisition, education and entrepreneurship trainings.
“The impact of the Presidential Amnesty Programme in the Niger-Delta region has been very satisfactory and encouraging because the ex-agitators have imbibed that culture of ensuring peace.
“This is to allow for growth in the region and they are happy about it because a lot of valuable entrepreneurship programmes are ongoing in the entire Niger-Delta region and provision made for scholarship to institutions of learning, this is highly commendable and should be sustained,” Mbachi said.