A group in the riverine area of Nigeria known as the Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) has appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to pay no attention to the activities of some mischievous persons who are bent on rubbishing the good works of the Amnesty Programme.
The Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), on Sunday, July 8, urged President Muhammadu Buhari to dismiss all the ill-intended petitions from persons it described as mischief-makers whose goal is only to bring disrepute to the enviable achievements of the Amnesty Programme in Niger Delta.
PANDEF has also called on Professor Charles Dokubo, the coordinator of the presidential amnesty programme and special adviser to the president on Niger Delta, to remain focused despite the efforts of detractors to distract him, Vanguard reports.
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Also, Alfred Mulade, PANDEF's national secretary in a statement on Sunday, July 8, warned that distracting the Amnesty Programme is the same as distracting the relative peace in the Niger Delta region. Mulade urged Dokubo to remain focused in carrying out his responsibilities to the people of Niger Delta.
PANDEF has also pleaded with the youths in the Niger Delta not to allow themselves to become tools in the hands of those it described as persons with ill intentions against the peace and stability of the region for their evil intentions, adding that individuals and groups with genuine grievances should employ civil engagements to resolve such rather than resort to inhumane activities.
Mulade stated: “We therefore call on President Muhammadu Buhari to ignore the frivolous petitions by mischief makers orchestrated to frustrate the laudable programme. Mr President should note that the Presidential Amnesty programme is captious to sustaining the relative peace in the Niger Delta, and that frequent changes in the leadership of the interventionist agencies and programmes for the Niger Delta have also been detrimental to their success.
”We urge the Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme and Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta, Professor Charles Dokubo not to be distracted or deterred by the antics of these mischievous individuals.
"We implore him to remain focused on carrying out the responsibilities of his office to the benefit of the Niger Delta people and the Nigerian State. We therefore caution those behind these ugly activities to desist forthwith as the region will no longer tolerate these actions.
"Meanwhile we implore youths of the Niger Delta not to allow themselves to be used by persons with ill intentions against the peace and stability of the region for their nefarious intentions. Individuals and groups with genuine grievances should employ civil engagements to resolve such issues instead of resorting to unwholesome actions and nefarous tendencies. ”
"Without prejudice to PANDEF stance that persons saddled with responsibilities of managing resources of the people must demonstrate acceptable levels of accountability and transparency in the discharge of their duties, it is however completely unacceptable and condemnable for individuals or groups to under any guise employ mischievous and abhorrent frolics to discredit and tarnish the hard earned image of seasoned public officers, such as the instant petitions tended to achieve.
“Professor Charles Dokubo should be allowed to carry out the responsibilities of his office without unnecessary distractions by misguided individuals and groups within and outside the Niger Delta. PANDEF is satisfied with the efforts and steps taken so far by the Coordinator of the presidential Amnesty Programme.
"He is consulting and engaging with a broad spectrum of critical stakeholders in a bid to improve citizens’ participation,transparency and accountability in the running of the affairs of the Amnesty Programme. ”
"It must be placed on record that the PAP was established by former President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua in 2009, in the wake of hostilities in the region which witnessed crude oil production sliding to about 700,000 barrels per day, and exacerbated by the Military bombardment of Gbaramatu, in Delta State, under the guise of searching for missing soldiers.
"The intervention of elders and leaders of the region has helped in sustaining this much needed peace up till this day.
"With the Amnesty Programme proclaimed, the youths were appeased, to give way for resumption of crude oil production at optimal level, and to ensure constructive and strategic development of the region, which includes: The Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration (DDR) of former militant agitators; critical infrastructural and economic development in the region.
"Environmental Remediation; implementation of modalities for the involvement of of Host Communities in the ownership of Petroleum Assets; and establishment of framework for oil and gas assets protection and surveillance.
“It must be noted that, so far, only the Disarmament and Demobilisation components of of the DDR has been implemented. This makes it imperative that the PAP still has a long way to go, and so should be given all the support, encouragement and funding, to achieve its mandate, and not to be distracted and derailed.
“Furthermore, we call on the people of the Niger Delta region to give the Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme the necessary support and cooperation needed for him to succeed in optimally delivering on the mandate of the programme in the collective interest of the region and the country at large.”
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"As well-meaning elders and leaders of the region, we will continue to support all our sons and daughters occupying public offices at all levels, as long as they work in tandem with the hopes and aspirations of the people, and do not engage activities that would bring disrepute to the region. We will also continue to support all germane efforts of government aimed at improving the status our region and the nation at large.”
Meanwhile, Legit.ng reported that the federal government was set to lose N1,053,270,000.00 annually due to deployment of 747 non-beneficiaries of the presidential amnesty programme.
Legit.ng gathered that an anti-corruption watch group, Critical Coalition Against Corruption (CCAC), alleged that some of the universities claimed to be charging way more than what was advertised and submitted to the National University Commission as at the time of the said deployment.
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