Amnesty office begins physical verification of ex-agitators in three cities

Port Harcourt—The Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) Wednesday commenced a two-day physical verification of ex-agitators recently delisted from its monthly stipends payroll. gathered that the exercise followed days of protest by some ex-agitators in Port Harcourt and Abuja over the delisting of their names and the stopping of the N65,000 monthly stipends.

Those affected from Akwa Ibom, Imo and Abia States gathered for the exercise at the PAP’s Rivers State Laison office in Port Harcourt while those from Bayelsa and Delta States converged in Yenagoa.

Speaking to journalists, the Head of the Rivers State Laison Office, Kenneth Odoko, explained that the exercise was aimed at sanitizing the system due to alleged fraud discovered in the program by the Barry Ndiomu-led PAP management.

He assured that the process is seamless and payments will be made after the verification.

In Odoko’s words: “For the past two months we’ve been having this issues concerning payment of stipends, arising from the discovery of some form of irregularities, like a particular BVN linked with 30 different accounts.

“We also have some persons that were trained and empowered, instead of them to exit the system, they are still collecting stipends, which is an aberration, so these are the abnormalities the Interim Administrator intends to correct.
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“Some persons were not paid and it resulted to agitations and protest, hence the verification excercise we’re witnessing today, so I believe strongly that after this excercise, the new beneficiaries will be credited.”

Also speaking, the Head of the Bayelsa Laison office of PAP, Dame Esther Boro, thanked the ex-agitators for submitting themselves for the excercise.

According to her, “The process has been successful, as you can see, we have all arms of security here present and the delegates are also aware, it’s like acknowledging their future that the verification excercise is for their good and no one is here to hurt them and the interim administrator is not after their downfall as they sometimes call it and I think so far it has been successful.”

Also speaking, the Chairman on Strategic Communication of PAP, Nature Dumale Kigehe, appealed to the ex-agitators and other stakeholders to support Ndiomu to succeed because of his good intentions.

Some of the beneficiaries expressed hope that the verification exercise would produce positive results.

Others thanked Ndiomu for addressing their earlier grievances.

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