Port Harcourt — Ex-agitators whose training, empowerment and reintegration have been suspended under the third phase of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, PAP, have threatened to resume hostility by returning to the creeks.
The ex-agitators under the aegis of the United Amnesty Delegates, said the development followed the non payment of verified Presidential Amnesty Programme’s contractors from November 2019 to date.
Leader of the group, Ebi John, warned that reneging on full reintegration of all ex-agitators captured during the disarmament stage amounted to a breach of the terms of PAP agreement and advised the government to keep the pact.
The ex-agitator said that the speculations on plans to scrap the Amnesty Programme without full reintegrating the 30,000 beneficiaries, has caused apprehension amongst their fold as they would protest to demand resumption of the exercise.
John explained that the most critical part of the Amnesty Programme is the reintegration of the ex-agitators, which comprises of training and empowerment of the ex-agitators to enable them have sustainable sources of livelihoods in line with the amnesty deal with the Federal Government.
He said that the suspension of training and empowerment of the ex-agitators, was a clear indication of the rumoured scraping of the Presidential Amnesty Programme by the present administration adding that the move would be resisted.
“Our findings indicate that Retired Gen. Monguno who is the National Security Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari, has been in charge of the programme and we shall not accept scraping the Presidential Amnesty Programme without achieving its objectives.
“The United Amnesty Delegates is sending a message to Gen Monguno (Rtd) that the alleged plot to scrap the programme is now clear to the entire Niger Delta people, particularly the ex-militants and we will resist it with our blood as usual.
“The non payment of contractors/vendors by the Amnesty office since November last year is a ploy by Gen. Mongono (rtd) to cleverly scrap the Presidential Amnesty Programme as beneficiaries of the programme no more undergo trainings.
“This is because of the backlog monies the office is owing contractors.
“We are calling on the Nigerian government to call Gen Mongono to order and prevail on him to pay all verified contractors to enable beneficiaries to return to their various training centers to continue with their training and empowerment schemes without further delay.
“If the government fails to address this appalling situation, we shall have no other option than go back to the creeks and take actions that will compel the presidency to react immediately.
“The payment should cut across board and devoid of bias. The United Amnesty delegates demand an explanation as to why the NSA is still the one running the office after an interim coordinator has been appointed.
“Gen. Monguno should hand over everything that concerns PAP office to Col Milland Dixon Dikio (Rtd) to kick start and act as the substantial coordinator.”
Also speaking, Chairman of Amnesty Vendors Forum, Samson Graham, disclosed that the Amnesty office stopped paying contractors since November 2019.
Graham said contractors cannot continue
trainings and empowerment schemes without funds, hence, everything about training and empowerment have been halted for about one year now.
He appealed to the Presidency to facilitate the payment of verified contractors to enable them return to the various training centers to continue their jobs.
It will be recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari, on August 26 2020 announced the sack of Prof Charles Dokubo, who was suspended in February 2020 and appointed Col. Milland Dikio (Rtd) as interim coordinator of the Amnesty Programme.