Dokubo Tasks Leaders Of Niger Delta Ex-Agitators On Peace, Dev’t
PRESIDENTIAL AMNESTY PROGRAMME PRESS RELEASE
Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, Prof. Charles Dokubo has urged leaders of Niger Delta ex-agitators to work towards the success of the programme for people in the region to enjoy its gains.
He warned that the daunting challenges confronting the Niger Delta would not abate until leaders of the region including leaders of the ex-agitators reflect on their background and address the issues.
Dokubo spoke on Tuesday in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, at a meeting with 97 leaders of ex-agitators in Phase Two of the Amnesty Programme. He harped on the need for the leaders of ex-agitators to key into the objectives for which the programme was to achieve unity of purpose for a better Niger Delta.
“The Amnesty Programme is more than ten years now and then the objective of the programme is mainly two things; to maintain peace and security in the Niger Delta and enhance human capital development in the region. The Amnesty Programme is to provide the enabling environment for people in the Niger Delta to key into the programme and achieve development. If you don’t key into the programme and derive benefits of the programme, I believe that you have not done well for yourself and for your family. I believe that wherever we come from, because we are Niger Deltans, we should have one thought: how do we improve the lot of the Niger Delta people. Let our thoughts be what will judge us to be true leaders of our people.
Look at the Niger Delta and the number of interventionist agencies that have been put in there- NDDC, Ministry of Niger Delta and the Amnesty Programme. No other part of Nigeria has the same number of agencies that deal with issues that we face. And if don’t look at our background to address these issues so that we can come out of it as better Nigerians and better Niger Delta people, then we have failed our generation. It is not about struggling over little issues, it is about a bigger picture of where the Niger Delta be in the next ten years.
If you don’t have this in mind, our children will ask one day that you people said you fought for the Amnesty Programme to be created, in what way has it changed our lives? For me, that is the bigger picture. How can we create a Niger Delta in which people will find jobs in industries that are the mainstay of the economy that are located in our region? To be in the right places so that the Niger Delta will be transformed to places like Dubai and all that. That is my bigger picture and I want you to understand how we can attain that. The only way forward is to have a common understanding of the Amnesty Programme in the midst of those who are here. Design a way on how to move the programme forward”.
Dokubo said that the meeting was to forge a better understating with leaders of ex-agitators in the Niger Delta towards deepening peace in the region. “I am here today to address the second phase leaders; I will also hear a lot. Sometimes staying in Abuja cuts me off from those who are leaders of the various phases. And I believe that meeting you today will be the closest most of you have gotten to me and also to know by vision and the objective of the Amnesty Programme and how we are going to drive it.
Without you, there will be no Amnesty Programme. I was appointed to drive a programme that belongs to all of you. That is why I am here; to listen to you. No one has a monopoly of knowledge. But we can get on by learning from the experiences of others to move this programme forward. This meeting today will be a meeting of minds. Some of you have something to say but you have not had the opportunity to tell me. Today you can say it and there will be no problems about it.
I am here to be better informed and also for you to hear me out what my vision of this programme is all about. So, whatever divisions we have, forget about it and let us face the challenges and how to move this programme forward. If we can get a unified concept, a unity of purpose here in Uyo, it will do this programme a very good help. That is why I am here. I will give you time to speak; I will also take time to address some issues. I will learn from the contributions of each and every one of you, and then add it to what I already know about this programme to be in a better stead to look after the programme.
Today, we will sit down, draw a roadmap, highlight the past and take an objective that will help us achieve the aims and objectives of the Amnesty Programme for the Niger Delta. Let us work together because the Niger Delta problem is bigger than me; it is bigger than all of us here. So, you do not have to like me to work with me to make this programme”.
In his remarks, chairman of Phase Two leaders of Niger Delta ex-agitators, commended Dokubo for initiating the interactive session which he said, would enhance efforts at deepening peace in the region.
“My take on today’s meeting as leader of 6,166 persons including my fellow camp leaders present in this August meeting, is that Prof. Dokubo has credibly discussed with us and agreed that the programme has to move forward and of course, he has been doing it. Since he assumed office, he has been paying our monthly stipends of N65, 000 without failure; people on scholarship within the country and abroad are adequately being catered for. Our students in our local universities are no longer crying that their allowances have been delayed, because he has been paying regularly as soon as funds are released by the Federal Government.
He has done immensely well by identifying the real beneficiaries of the programme and training them as well. Since Dokubo assumed office, he has been focused on working to deepen peace in the Niger Delta. I will not hesitate to say that everybody knows that since Dokubo assumed office, the vandalization of pipelines in the Niger Delta has drastically reduced. There are no longer cases of communal crises and other forms of crime and criminality in the Niger Delta. It means the man has worked tremendously and tirelessly to deepen peace in the Niger Delta and Nigeria as a whole”.
Special Assistant (Media)