By Daniel Gumm
WARRI—IN a fresh move to tackle perceived marginalisation by the Office of the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta Affairs and Chairman of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, Mr. Kingsley Kuku, Itsekiri amnesty beneficiaries have petitioned the Senate President, David Mark, calling on the National Assembly to probe the alleged non-payment of their monthly stipends and “Kuku’s refusal to allow the Itsekiri to travel abroad for the necessary training when our Ijaw brothers have travelled out with no hindrance.”
The petition, copied to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Speaker of the House of Representatives, relevant security agencies as well as government agencies, noted that despite deferring their university admissions to study abroad till January 2015 as requested by the Chairman of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, funds were yet to be released for their training, even “when we are fully aware that the National Assembly had already approved the money for the post amnesty programmes on May 20, 2014.”
The petition by Chairman of the Itsekiri amnesty beneficiaries, Mr Peter Tidi, said: “All efforts to see Kuku and other members of his team have been truncated by their offices after the meeting with them,” noting that the 73 Itsekiri beneficiaries have not been paid their stipends.
They appealed to the Senate President to wade into the issue so that funds could be released to enable them to travel abroad and their letters of award/sponsorship given to them like their Ijaw counterparts.