Presidency approves verification of 30,000 Presidential Amnesty Beneficiaries in Niger Delta …”I have no power to admit new people” – Dikio

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Presidency has approved the decision of the Presidential Amnesty Office under the Interim Administrator, Col. Milland Dixion Dikio to conduct a verification exercise on the 30,000 ex-agitators captured under the programme in the last eleven years.

Already, the Interim Administrator, Col. Milland Dixion Dikio has set up a 10-man committee of “PAP Think-Thnak” with a mandate to enrich, monitor and propagate the new PAP roadmap of the Amnesty office to reposition and ensure that the new policies are close to the Niger Delta communities.

A member of the Strategic Committee of PAP, Comrade Tonye Bobo, who confirmed the development during a call on members of the Federated Correspondent Chapel of the NUJ, Bayelsa State Council, said the verification exercise is not a witch hunt exercise but a strategic way to verifying those that are capture and those still left out of the Amnesty programme.

Bobo said the verification exercise has also received the backing of all the ex-militant leaders in the region,”it is said that the Amnesty office does not have the capacity to admit new beneficiaries and we agreed with him. Now we also agreed that who are these 30,000 beneficiaries? For us to know, we have to conduct the verification exercise.”

He also promised that as a member of the new “Think-Thank” of the Amnesty office,”the committee will engage every critical stakeholder from the grassroots to the top to offer advice or solution for the affairs of the region.”

Bobo ,who is also an Amnesty Beneficiary under the Third Phase, said the new committee set up by the Interim Administrator, Col. Milland Dixion Dikio is also saddled with the responsibility of sustaining the prevailing peace in the region, adding that the issue of the PAP has to do with the re-integration of 30,000 ex-agitator captured and the development in the region.

“As one of the change-agents of the PAP, am ready to bring to fore ideas that would help to achieve the desire and anticipated transformation in the region. We commend the Interim Administrator, Col. Milland Dixion Dikio for the new assignment”

…I have no power to admit new people into amnesty programme, says Dikio

MEANWHILE, the Interim Administrator, Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), Col. Milland Dixon Dikio (retd),  has told the Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions that he lacks the mandate to include new beneficiaries into the amnesty scheme.

A statement issued on Wednesday by Dikio’s Special Adviser on Media, Neotaobase Egbe, said the amnesty boss spoke when he appeared before the committee in Abuja to defend a petition against PAP by a former agitator, High Chief Sobomabo Jackrich, popularly known as Egberipapa.

Dokio clarified that only President Muhammadu Buhari has the exclusive power to admit new people into the programme.

Jackrich in his petition complained that his boys were excluded from the scheme despite surrendering their arms in line with the conditions contained in the amnesty proclamation made by late President Umaru Yar’Adua.

Dikio, who honoured the invitation of the committee chaired by  Senator Ayo Akinyelure, said though he was aware of the matter when he took over the leadership of PAP, but such function was beyond his mandate.

He said: “I lack the power to admit anyone to the scheme because such power can only be exercised by the President. As a man under authority, my mandate as Interim Administrator of PAP is to cater for 30,000 ex-agitators, who had been duly registered and captured as beneficiaries of the scheme”.

Speaking after the panel sitting, Dikio dismissed the rumoured plans to enlist more beneficiaries to the scheme and warned persons behind it to desist from spreading falsehood.

He stressed that the programme was focused on 30,000 beneficiaries, who were yet to be trained by PAP and warned people against the antics of scammers.

He said: “Our focus and priority at the moment as far as the amnesty programme is concerned is to make sure that the 30,000 beneficiaries under our watch are well trained and empowered to become employers of labour and net contributors to the economic prosperity of the Niger Delta.

“That’s why it is important to warn  youths in the region to totally discountenance any rumour asking or requesting them to fill forms to be enlisted as new beneficiaries of the amnesty programme. It’s a scam pure and simple. They shouldn’t fall for it.”

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