Port Harcourt — Not less that 250 persons in communities impacted during the Niger Delta crisis in Rivers State, were at the weekend, given starter packs in various trade areas, as the Presidential Amnesty Programme unveils a robust empowerment programme for the year.
Among the beneficiaries were men and women drawn from communities in Buguma Local Government Area of the state, where an Ex-Niger Delta Agitator, Sobomabo Jackrich, also known as Egberi Papa, had camps.
Items distributed to the beneficiaries include Sumec generators, Omaha generators, sewing machines and accessories, wooden tables, welding machines and engine oil, etc.
Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, Prof. Charles Dokubo, said the starter packs are to enable the beneficiaries set up businesses in their respective trade areas in an empowerment drive aimed at engaging ex-agitators enlisted in the Programme, as well as residents of communities in the Niger Delta impacted during the period of armed agitation.
Dokubo said though his mandate was to train and empower beneficiaries captured in the database of the Programme, it was imperative to offer assistance to residents of crises impacted communities towards deepening peace in the Niger Delta.
He disclosed that this was the fourth time residents of communities impacted during the Niger Delta crisis, were being empowered by the Amnesty Programme since he assumed office.
“This is a special empowerment for people who are not among the 30,000 beneficiaries captured in the Presidential Amnesty Programme. It is meant for people in crisis impacted communities in the Niger Delta. It is to demonstrate that the Amnesty Programme is indirectly for all the people of Niger Delta and we care for you.
“President Muhammadu Buhari is conversant with the 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 right place in the country, especially in terms of infrastructural development.”
While urging residents of the communities to avoid violence and support the Federal Government to actualize sustainable peace in the region, Dokubo warned recipients of the starter packs against selling the items, but to make judicious use of them to better their lives.