16 February 2019, Sweetcrude, Port Harcourt — No fewer than 3,540 persons from impacted communities during the Niger Delta militancy crises have been empowered by the Presidential Amnesty Programme, with various starter packs such as welding equipment, sewing machines, freezers, among others.
Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta and Coordinator, Amnesty Programme, Prof. Charles Dokubo, while flagging off the empowerment program in Abonnema, Akuku-Toru Local Government Area of Rivers State, said the gesture was a show of President Muhammadu Buhari’s love for people of the region.
Dokubo said no fewer than 177 persons profiled from various communities for each of the 20 distribution centres across states in the Niger Delta, have received items for various trade areas which included welding equipment, tailoring, catering, deep freezers, and generators of different sizes.
He said residents in various communities from Delta, Rivers and Bayelsa states, had benefited from the distribution exercise held in Warri, Opukiri, Ogwashukwu, Abonnema, Degema and Buguma; Eket/Ikot-Ikpene in Akwa Ibom State; and Ohaji Egbema/Owerri in Imo State.
Even as the program was ongoing at other centres including Gelegele and Auchi in Edo State, Yakkur and Calabar South in Cross River State; others are Ilaje and Okitikpupa, Ondo State, as well as Ukwa East/West and Umuahia North/South, Abia State.
According to him, “Having served in Port Harcourt, Rivers State in the course of his military career, President Muhammadu Buhari is conversant with the unpleasant situation of the Niger Delta people and he is committed to turning around the narrative.
“President Buhari loves you and will ensure that the Niger Delta is stabilized and gets its rightful place in the country, especially in terms of infrastructural development.
“The fact that he sustained the Amnesty Programme despite intense pressure from some quarters is an evidence of his love for the Niger Delta people and I urge you to turn out en-mass in the forthcoming elections to cast your ballot and return him for a second term to enable him to do more for our people.”
Dokubo further warned recipients of the various items against selling what they got, but to make judicious use of them to eke a living.
“This is special empowerment for people who are not among the 30,000 beneficiaries captured in the Presidential Amnesty Programme; it is meant for people in crises impacted communities in the Niger Delta. It is to demonstrate that the Amnesty Programme is for all the people of Niger Delta, and we care for you.”
Also, the Traditional Ruler of Degema, King Reuben Zechariah Amos, urged the Federal Government to sustain and adequately fund the Amnesty Programme for effective transformation of the Niger Delta.
Amos commended Dokubo for remembering people in the Niger Delta who didn’t carry arms as well as communities affected while militancy lasted.
He said Dokubo’s appointment as Coordinator of Amnesty Programme was a divine intervention to uplift the region, just as he commended him for his vision and initiatives in settings up the basic skills Oil and Gas Vocational Training Centre at Agadagba-Obon, Ondo State, and the Vocational Training Centre, Kaiama, Bayelsa state.