Port Harcourt — The Coordinator, Presidential Amnesty Programme, Prof. Charles Dokubo, has said that the Federal Government views the Amnesty Programme as a necessary and veritable tool to transform the oil-rich Niger Delta region.
This, according to Dokubo, informed President Muhammadu Buhari’s commitment to actualizing the objectives of the Programme.
Dokubo, who is also the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta, speaking to at a commemorative rally in honor of late Major Isaac Boro, urged the people of the region to work in concert for the success of the Amnesty Programme, while warning on the consequences if opportunities inherent in the Programme were not effectively utilized.
While describing Isaac Boro as the first person to see the Niger Delta as a viable region, Dokubo noted that the Amnesty Programme is a direct reflection of his desires for the Niger Delta people.
“We are here today because of a journey he started some years ago. What we do here is to symbolize the aspiration and the ambition of Boro. Amnesty is a direct reflection of his desires for the Niger Delta people.
“The Federal Government of Nigeria under late President Yar’Adua took up the issue of Amnesty not because it was a difficult task, but because it was a necessary task and that is why this government is so committed to the Amnesty Programme.
“I have been around for just a year plus, and I have seen the desire of this government to make sure Amnesty survives and that the people of Niger Delta should benefit immensely from the Programme that we run at the Amnesty office. It’s like some of us don’t even know the avenues that are open to us. If we can explore, exploit and make use of the available opportunities, Niger Delta will be a different place”.
Assuring on President Buhari’s determination to uplift the Niger Delta region, Dokubo explained some of his strategies to optimize the impact of the Amnesty Programme.
“After assuming office, I tried to open the doors of my office to every Niger Delta person; I did that because I know it is necessary and also because I realized that we need equality of all Niger Delta people. There is no Niger Delta person that has come to my office and had gone back displeased.
“What I want to do is to de-emphasize dependence on N65, 000 monthly stipends by beneficiaries of the Amnesty Programme, so that Niger Delta people can work, earn and also enjoy themselves. If you earn what you are entitled to have, there will be a trickle effect; you have to pay your children’s school fees, you have to pay your rent, you have to take care of your family and do all the things that are required of a family man.
“Niger Delta should also be emancipated through the Amnesty Programme in the sense that you can work anywhere. You will know that you are a very resilient people. Where there is no way, we find; where there is no opportunity, we create one. We just have to continue to do that effectively,” Dokubo said.