19 July 2017, Sweetcrude, Abuja – Some Niger Delta ex-militants, who are beneficiaries of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, have lamented that they were currently undergoing suffering as a result of alleged neglect by the Federal Government.
The students, under the auspices of the Forum of Niger Delta Amnesty Students of Nigeria, FONDASN, who alleged that the government was no more taking care of their welfare, said all their benefits had allegedly been withheld by the government.
In a statement issued by the Coordinator, Secretary and Public Relations Officer of the association, Mr. Biliboh Ikioh, Boniface Constance and Austin Alex, respectively, the students called on the government to resolve the problem soonest.
They threatened that if the government failed to address the problem, they would embark on a protest.
The statement read, “It would be recalled that the amnesty programme was introduced by the late President Musa Yar’Adua’s administration as part of measures to mitigate the effect of the devastation in the oil rich region. Among other things, the government promised to ensure that beneficiaries of the amnesty programme gain access to free education and monthly stipends.
“The gesture was sustained during the government of former President Goodluck Jonathan. Under the present administration, however, FONDASN has suffered great neglect. School fees are not paid to schools as well as monthly stipends are not paid to us as and when due.
“We, the beneficiaries of the amnesty programme were distributed to various private universities in the Niger Delta Region with the Federal Government promising to pay and also give us stipends.
“However, in recent time, the government, through the amnesty office, has not been alive to its responsibilities. For the past six months, our stipends have not been paid. The last one we received was for January.”
The FONDASN also disclosed that many of their colleagues in some universities have been sent out of schools as a result of their inability to pay their school fees by the government through the amnesty office.