No fewer than 1,166 ex-militant leaders under the Niger Delta Presidential Amnesty Programme (Phase 2) hav given the Federal Government a 14-day ultimatum to direct its Special Adviser on the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), Colonel Milland Dikio (retd), to pay them their over one year outstanding N64, 000 monthly allowance or they would resort to protest.
Speaking on behalf of the ex-militant leaders, chairman of the group, John Esuku, claimed that the refusal of the Amnesty Office to pay over 6,000 ex-agitators their monthly stipends for the past one year has driven jobless youths in the region to return to the creeks to resume artisanal crude refining.
Esuku further explained that despite several letters to the Amnesty Office to resolve the issues surrounding the non-payment of stipends to beneficiaries, the Federal Government has gone ahead to pay billions of naira for pipeline surveillance contracts.
He further said that after an enlarged meeting, they had resolved to give the amnesty boss an ultimatum to honour their invitation for a meeting to resolve the issues affecting the payment of their stipends or they would take to the streets of Abuja to protest after the expiration of the ultimatum.
He said: “reason the Federal Government established the Presidential Amnesty Programme was to build peace in the Niger Delta region. Secondly, it was intended to avert the high rate of crude oil theft that has affected petroleum revenue that accrues to the country. So far, many people have headed the office and did their best to restore peace in the Niger Delta region.
“From the inception of the Amnesty Programme, there had been peace in our region but since Dikio took over, the rate of crude oil theft has increased. And the reason for this trend is that the Dikio-led Amnesty Office has refused to pay beneficiaries for reasons best known to them.
“For the records, we are speaking on good authority that the monthly stipends of the over 6000 beneficiaries had been withheld for over a year. And as a result of this, many of the affected persons have returned to the creeks to engage themselves in crude oil bunkering activities, just to survive the hardship in the country.
“The worse of it all is that the Amnesty boss has repeatedly refused to honour an invitation from the affected beneficiaries for a meeting to resolve the issues surrounding their predicament.
“Another wrong thing he is doing is that whenever he gets approval to send 1700 beneficiaries to universities to study on scholarship for example, by the time you go to the universities, you would find only 1000 persons. I must say that, since he took over, there is no more peace in the Niger Delta region.
“Despite all these, the Federal Government still retains or reappoints him, we will go to Abuja for a massive protest. And if they refuse to heed our demands, we will return to the creeks and recommence our crude oil bunkering activities. We are hereby giving Dikio a 14-day ultimatum to respond to our letters for a meeting or face the massive protest.”
Kindly contact us @ Naijalivetv@gmail.com
Call or Whatsapp: 07035262029, 07016666694, 08129340000