- President Muhammadu Buhari has been advised to appoint a permanent head for the Niger Delta amnesty programme
- The advice was given to the president by a major stakeholder in the region, Peace For Niger Delta forum
- The group asked the president to pick a permanent adviser who would handle the operations of the programme
FCT, Abuja - Ahead of the full implementation of the recently signed Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) in 2022, civil society organisations have implored President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately appoint a permanent head for the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP).
Making the call at a news conference in Abuja attended by a Legit.ng reporter on Tuesday, September 7, a coalition of civil society organisations under the aegis of Peace For Niger Delta (PND) said this has become necessary for the continued sustenance of peace in the region.
President Buhari asked to alter arrangements within the amnesty programme
Specifically, PND asked Buhari to immediately change the leadership of PAP from an interim administrator to a presidential adviser on the amnesty programme.
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Speaking on behalf of the group, Chief Douglas Charles, said a permanent adviser should be picked to handle the operations of the PAP and coordinate the thousands of ex-agitators who he said are already getting agitated over the seeming lack of attention to their needs.
“At this crucial time that a new dawn has birthed in the petroleum industry with the historic signing into law of the PIA by Mr. President, the Niger Delta region doesn’t need any form of crisis from ex-agitators because of their stipends or monies for training and entrepreneurship programs.
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“We, therefore, call on Mr. President to restore the mandate of the amnesty programme to its original intent and take service to the Niger Delta where the ex-agitators are domiciled by training the ex-agitators to become entrepreneurs who will act as agents of change.”
He further stated that the coalition was confident that a change of PAP leadership is rife and is in the offing as the president is interested in the peace, security, and development of the Niger Delta region.
He called on all the 30,000 ex-agitators under the Amnesty Programme to have confidence in the Buhari administration.
“All ex-agitators must continue to keep the peace that has existed in the region since 2015 while the government is doing its best to keep to its own side of the amnesty programme.”
In a related development, the All Progressives Congress Legacy Awareness and Campaign (APC-LAC) has declared that no previous administration has paid more attention to the plight of the Niger Delta region like the current administration of President Buhari.
The voluntary think-tank group within the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) assured members of the public that President Buhari will not relent in the implementation of his vision of a safe, secure, and prosperous Niger Delta.
In a statement sent to Legit.ng on Tuesday, August 24, leaders of the group noted that the region left to the negative consequences of mineral exploitation by previous administrations is now facing a brother future through the Ogoni clean-up which has finally kicked off.
The Ogoni struggle and NNPC's achievement
Recall that the production of crude oil by the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) in the Ogoni region recently resumed.
This is coming more than 30 years of a legal tussle with the Shell Petroleum Development Company.
NNPC Group Managing Director, Mallam Mele Kyari described the development as a huge victory for Nigeria.