Port Harcourt—Niger Delta ex-agitators have appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to appoint Colonel Milland Dikio as substantive coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP).
Speaking through PAP’s Strategic Communication Committee (SCC), the ex-agitators insist that Dikio’s approach would permanently restore peace in the Niger Delta.
They urged Buhari to be wary of antics of enemies of the Niger Delta region who, they maintain, are plotting against the amnesty boss from implementing his good vision to actualise the mandates of the scheme.
In a report by Firstnewsonline, the ex-agitators described those behind the campaign of calumny against Dikio as merchants of violence profiting from the endless crisis in the region.
According to them, such individuals were angry Dikio’s visions, programmes and projects would end their crisis empire, as they were designed to entrench peace, sustainably empower ex-agitators as well as ensure the development of the region.
This was contained in a statement issued by the Chairman of SCC, Nature Dumale, in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
Dumale said the ex-agitators were happy that Dikio returned the programme to its original owners in the Niger Delta and chose the region to hold PAP meetings and other activities despite false claims by some persons that the Niger Delta was not safe.
The statement reads in part: “No one has addressed this programme in this magnitude, no one has addressed this programme through this way before. Only Dikio has come with this vision. How can the enemies of the Niger Delta come to stop this kind of vision Dikio has put in place?
“We have made up our mind not to keep quiet, not to fold our hands because the presidential amnesty programme belongs to us. It’s our programme and we have to defend and protect it.
“Enemies of the amnesty programme want our boys to return to the creeks because many of them will not survive except there is crisis in the region.
“They want crisis to continue. Their children are overseas, studying in the best universities but they want us to continue to protest.
“We want to let the Federal Government know that there are people in this Niger Delta region, who survive only by instigating crisis and troubles.
“It is their only means of livelihood. We cannot be distracted by them now that we have found a solution to our problems.”
The statement commended Dikio for not playing the blame game but
continuously seeking ways to correct previous wrongs as well as bring peace and development to the oil-rich region.
“He has returned the programme to its owners in the Niger Delta. Before he came, ex-agitators like me were visiting Abuja for meetings. But immediately he came, Dikio returned the programme to the region and insisted that all activities of the amnesty programme must be held in the Niger Delta.
“The region is feeling the economic multiplier effects of these engagements. The economic benefits trickle down to all stakeholders and business owners from hotels, to food vendors,” the statement added.
Dumale said the ex-agitators were also excited that Dikio adopted the train, mentor and employ model to make them successful entrepreneurs and less dependent on N65,000 monthly stipends.
He further expressed that Dikio’s next plan was to camp the ex-agitators, who were still engaged in drug abuse, cultism and other negative lifestyles, for a period of time for reorientation before empowering them.