Members of the Warri Consultative Forum, WCF, have stated that the Itsekiri ethnic nationality constitute a key stakeholder in the Niger Delta region and therefore should also be considered for appointment as Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, PAP, with the sack of Prof. Charles Dokubo.
The executive secretary of the group, Mr. Gabriel Meni made this request in a chat with newsmen in Warri yesterday, saying that they have not benefited from appointment at the PAP office since its establishment in spite of their huge financial contributions to the revenue profile of the country.
He stated that the Amnesty programme is meant to cover indigenes of the nine mandate states, wondering why only persons from one ethnic group is considered fit for the position, a situation that makes the other groups non-relevant in the amnesty scheme, noting that disseminating nuisance by way of violence and pipelines vandalism and economic sabotage is not the preserve of any tribe and the federal government should not give the wrong impression that it is only interested in dancing to the whims and caprices of only those that have exhibited furious violence and belligerency.
The WCF frowns at rumours making the rounds that persons of Northern origin are being considered for appointment into an interim management committee to oversee the management of the Presidential Amnesty Programme until a substantive Coordinator is appointed, wondering what a Northerner has to do with the PAP considering that it is the programme that engendered the current peace and tranquility in the region that has led to a sustained oil and gas production and exploration activities till date.
It has been revealed that the National Security Adviser, Mr. Babagana Mungono has been mandated to set up an interim management Committee to oversee the running of the affairs of the PAP until further notice with the following persons been penciled down already, viz: Mr. A.A. Lawal as Chairman; Col. Udoma as secretary; Mr. Anthony S.A. (Legal) and Brig-Gen. Mohammed as Director of Finance and Administration respectively.
The WCF pointed out that the PAP is an interventionist agency meant to address the agitations of the region only and not meant for all Nigerians as such and therefore should not be politicized by way federal character appointment as interventionist agencies in the North do not have persons from other regions appointed amongst them.
While charging President Buhari not to succumb to pressure to re-awaken hostilities in the peaceful region by appointing Northerners into the interim management committee, the WCF tasked him on the appointment of an Itsekiriman as PAP Coordinator this time around to give them and others a sense of belonging as doing otherwise is an invitation to another round of anarchy and gross disruption in oil and gas production operations.
The WCF pointed out Itsekiri ethnic nationality cannot continue to wait endlessly a for restructuring of the Nation before getting what is rightfully theirs, adding that during the era of agitations there are those that went violent while some others where peaceful in their approach with end result being the granting of amnesty to the entire region.