*Demand immediate appointment of substantive coordinator
By Piece Jane
EX-Niger Delta agitators have demanded inclusion in the panel constituted by the federal government to probe activities of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, PAP,under Prof. Charles Dokubo,its suspended coordinator.
This was as they demanded immediate appointment of a substantive coordinator to take over the affairs of the agency.
The agitators who flayed the composition of the committee by the National Security Adviser,Babagana Monguno,said they were irked over the development given that critical stakeholders from the nine states of Niger Delta were not consulted.
To this end,they have also demanded that the president, Muhammadu Buhari disbands with immediate effect the investigative committee set up by the NSA and constitute a new committee to include leaders, ex-militants and human development experts from the Niger Delta region in new committee under the administration of the present head of administration of PAP.
Speaking through their leaders at a press conference, Tuesday, in Abuja,the ex-agitators said by so doing, the “Presidential Amnesty Programme would open a new vista of genuine development of ex-militants and persons from that region.”
At the press conference addressed by Engr. Jator Abido,National Coordinator, Niger Delta Youth Council, NDYC and
Eshanekpe Israel Akpodoro,
National President, National Coalition of Niger Delta Ex-Agitators, NCNDEA,the group said immediate appointment of substantive coordinator for the agency was imperative.
A prepared text read by Mr Akpodoro,read:”Following the last weekend suspension of the Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme and Special Adviser on the Amnesty Programme, Professor Charles Dokubo, we are inundated with the news of the establishment of a Probe Committee by the office of the NSA to President and the subsequent selection of members from with that office to constitute the Committee by the Monguno led office.
“We were irked by the names of members of the Committee which was constituted without consulting critical stakeholders from the region and as if that insult was not enough Monguno selected northerners who we know to be his stooges as members and leaders of the probe panel a development that will render futile, the genuine intention of the probe which we know was to prod into the activities of that development agencies.
“In principle, this coalition is in support of indepth probe and the total overhaul of the administrative architecture of that agency which has been rendered crawling since creation without meaningful achievements of its aims and objectives.
“The Ex-Agitators’ Leaders are the faces and reasons for the creation of that intervention agency and whatever is needed in the programme we and the leaders of thought from that region must not only be consulted but be part of it.
“Munguno is treating us without respect and stripping us of our deserved honour as if we are a conquered group but this latest development will mark the end of such insult.
“That agency will stop being the ATM of any person or group of persons because we are taking the bull by the horn.
“Enough of this blackmail and intimidation of the Coordinators when they refuse to satisfy the voracious appetite of the overseer-in-Chief who comes up to hammer them but now he has bitten more than chew.
In as much as we are not against the suspension of Dokubo for the reason of probing the activities of that office, we are however in opposition to the appointment of Monguno’s men unilaterally by him and worst still strangers who are alien to the sufferings and yearning of the ex-militants and people of region.
” It is imperative we alert the world of the impending calamities the President Buhari’s administration is bringing upon the people of the Niger Delta and the entire country in his lackadaisical attitude that he has proven overtime to be good at.”
The group, while also demanding that a substantive coordinator be appointed to take over from Prof. Dokubo,said:”A substantive Coordinator must be appointed immediately from within the office or the region without preference for any tribe and the new management should among other things work with the Probe Committee to achieve its goals and that will be a departure from the current subterranean moves of the NSA to shield himself from the wind of probe by appointing his loyalists, we reject it.”
They also called for,”Massive training of ex-militants and youths devoid of nepotism, profiteering and racketeering by the officials of the agency.”
“Except for other reason from the presidency, we need only men and women from the Niger Delta region be the beneficiaries of the programme as against the current practice where relatives and females friends of officials of the programne from other regions benefit at the detriment of those for whom the agency was created,” the text read.
“We call on Mr. President to urgently come to our aid and should not ignore our clarion call, as to advert resumption of hostility in the region irrespective of the negative consequences on our national economy but with this statement of facts, the entire global community have been informed that Monguno is on the verge of setting our nation on fire,” they added.
“We, the prominent ex-militant leaders from across the broad spectrum of the mangrove Niger Delta region on behalf of ourselves and our large followers across the nine states of our region have gathered here in this Press Conference to express our reservations over the unabated insults on our collective sensibility in the mismanagement of the Presidential Amnesty Programme established in 2009 by the late President Umar Yar’Adua, by the National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno.
Still fresh in our memories were the developments that birth the establishment of the Presidential Amnesty Programme as an intervention agency to address core areas of demands by the people of the region which includes but not limited to the development of the productive youth population of the region and not to be a conduit pipe for self enrichment by anybody.
With keen interest, we youth leaders, stakeholders and ex-militant leaders have watched how funds earmarked for the training and betterment of the ex-militants and persons in the region were being stolen by successive managers of the Programme,”they further said.