By Chris Ochayi
ABUJA – Ex-agitators benefiting from the Federal Government’s amnesty programme have been advised to avoid any acts capable of jeopardising the relative peace currently being experienced in the Niger Delta region with a view to encouraging investors to flock the region.
The Chairman of Coalition of Niger Delta Ex-Agitators, Comrade Stephen Ebisintei, who gave the advice, while speaking with newsmen in Abuja, further counsel led any ex-agitations nursing whatever grievances to channel such complaint through the amnesty office.
Ebisintei urged to youths in the Niger Delta region to take advantage of open door policy of the current Chairman of the Federal Government’s Amnesty Programme, Professor Quaker Dokubo to air their views positively in a way that will hearten growth and development of the region.
Ebisintei, who is the beneficiary of Phase 2 of the amnesty program described Prof Dokubo as a round peg in a round hole who according to him “has brought unquestionable experience as a technocrat and proven integrity to the job.”
He said the youth centred policies of Amnesty Office under Prof Dokubo are already yielding short term benefits to targeted beneficiaries and have restored confidence and improved between relationship between the Amnesty Office and the critical stakeholders in the region.
The chairman further advised the youths of the region to shun any acts capable of rolling back the progress made so far by the President Buhari administration in restoring peace to the region.
According to him, “The time has come for youth leaders across the nine states of the Niger Delta region and indeed other critical stakeholders to support the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari in his clear resolve to bring development to the region given his robust support to the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, NIMASA, NDDC and the Amnesty Office.
“The support is targeted at development, security and empowerment of the people of the region.
“The youths should therefore shun acts that are capable of endangering their lives and jeopardizing the security of the region, which in turn discourages investors from the region. Our youths should see the office of the Special Adviser to President on Niger Delta as not just for ex-agitators alone, but for every youth, women and all critical stakeholders in the region.”
Ebisintei, explained to the amnesty beneficiaries that there was no housing allowance included in the stipends paid to them as being demanded, rather it used to be what he called ‘transition safety allowance’, which according to him “is a one-off money paid at the beginning of each phase of the program.
“Phase 1 received the money, Phase 2 received it and Phase 3 the same. However, if the ex-agitators want a housing allowance included, it should be done through the proper channel. The SA being a listening father can be persuaded subtly to look into it.
“The ex-agitators should understand that the Amnesty Office cannot disburse money, if it has not got a release from the CBN, after approval from the appropriate quarters.”