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Amaechi

By Donu Kogbara

COLONEL Milland Dixon Dikio (voluntarily retired) is a seasoned professional. He has been exposed to a multinational education. He has held command, diplomatic, staff and teaching appointments. He was decorated with ECOMOG, OAU and UN Peacekeeping medals.

His impressive conflict resolution, counter-terrorism and general military credentials were honed during numerous field engagements and policy advisory stints in Nigeria, in Africa and Beyond. For example, he played a critical role during negotiations with insurgents in Cote d’Ivoire, Liberia and Sierra Leone that set the stage for the signing of peace accords in those countries.

Character and conduct

 

Dikio was, therefore, eminently qualified to run the Presidential Amnesty Programme, PAP, which was established in 2009 by the late President Yar’Adua to manage the disarming, demobilisation and reintegration of repentant Niger Delta militants; and I’ve heard so many good things about his character and conduct since President Buhari made him PAP’s Interim Administrator, IA, last year.

READ ALSO:How IGP Usman Baba was selected ― Buhari

 

The PAP, like so many government agencies, has been accused of several fraudulent practices over the years; and Dikio has clearly stated a determination to investigate allegations and punish any vendors, contractors or staff who are found to have broken the law.

 

But Dikio’s style can be best described as strictness with a human face because he is (unlike his counterpart at the Niger Delta Development Commission) also going out of his way to pay (whenever funds are available) people whose contracts and documents have been verified and reconciled.

 

And, guess what? Dikio pays contractors chronologically, not randomly. There is no blatant favouritism or traumatic injustice or disgraceful mago-mago. Those who have been owed money for the longest time are getting paid before those who completed their jobs more recently. And, according to a contractor who wishes to remain nameless: “You don’t have to know Dikio or his cronies to get paid for work done. I am amazed by the man’s integrity. None of the other government officials I have dealt with behaves like him.”

Datta Amachree, a lawyer and entrepreneur from Rivers State who has been working with the PAP Office for some years, is another grateful admirer of Dikio: “The IA, Col. Milland Dixon Dikio, is a man of his word. He promised to pay all outstanding completed contracts owed from 2014; and he has gradually been keeping this promise.

 

“He applied for the N26 billion payment that was returned to the Federation Account on December 31, 2020 to be returned to the PAP account, so he could continue paying outstanding stipends, school fees, salaries, contracts, etc. I am one of the contractors who were paid from the scheduled payment system put in place under this IA’s tenure.

 

“I am speaking out as a Niger Deltan beneficiary of IA’s professionalism and compassion towards contractors who have gone through so much hardship awaiting their payments. We are always ready to criticise and petition against our own when they do not meet our expectations. The IA is doing his work. It is good to let our people hear positive news as well.”

COLONEL Milland Dixon Dikio (voluntarily retired) is a seasoned professional. He has been exposed to a multinational education. He has held command, diplomatic, staff and teaching appointments. He was decorated with ECOMOG, OAU and UN Peacekeeping medals.

His impressive conflict resolution, counter-terrorism and general military credentials were honed during numerous field engagements and policy advisory stints in Nigeria, in Africa and Beyond. For example, he played a critical role during negotiations with insurgents in Cote d’Ivoire, Liberia and Sierra Leone that set the stage for the signing of peace accords in those countries.

 

Character  and conduct

 

Dikio was, therefore, eminently qualified to run the Presidential Amnesty Programme, PAP, which was established in 2009 by the late President Yar’Adua to manage the disarming, demobilisation and reintegration of repentant Niger Delta militants; and I’ve heard so many good things about his character and conduct since President Buhari made him PAP’s Interim Administrator, IA, last year.

 

The PAP, like so many government agencies, has been accused of several fraudulent practices over the years; and Dikio has clearly stated a determination to investigate allegations and punish any vendors, contractors or staff who are found to have broken the law.

 

But Dikio’s style can be best described as strictness with a human face because he is (unlike his counterpart at the Niger Delta Development Commission) also going out of his way to pay (whenever funds are available) people whose contracts and documents have been verified and reconciled.

 

And, guess what? Dikio pays contractors chronologically, not randomly. There is no blatant favouritism or traumatic injustice or disgraceful mago-mago. Those who have been owed money for the longest time are getting paid before those who completed their jobs more recently. And, according to a contractor who wishes to remain nameless: “You don’t have to know Dikio or his cronies to get paid for work done. I am amazed by the man’s integrity. None of the other government officials I have dealt with behaves like him.”

 

Datta Amachree, a lawyer and entrepreneur from Rivers State who has been working with the PAP Office for some years, is another grateful admirer of Dikio: “The IA, Col. Milland Dixon Dikio, is a man of his word. He promised to pay all outstanding completed contracts owed from 2014; and he has gradually been keeping this promise.

 

“He applied for the N26 billion payment that was returned to the Federation Account on December 31, 2020 to be returned to the PAP account, so he could continue paying outstanding stipends, school fees, salaries, contracts, etc. I am one of the contractors who were paid from the scheduled payment system put in place under this IA’s tenure.

 

“I am speaking out as a Niger Deltan beneficiary of IA’s professionalism and compassion towards contractors who have gone through so much hardship awaiting their payments. We are always ready to criticise and petition against our own when they do not meet our expectations. The IA is doing his work. It is good to let our people hear positive news as well.”

 

So bravo to Dikio. More grease to his elbow.

Abe versus Amaechi

ROTIMI Amaechi, the former Governor of Rivers State and current Minister of Transportation, has decreed that the next governor should be a native of the riverine part of our state. But we have had riverine governors before and there has never been an Ogoni governor, despite Ogonis being numerically strong!

The Ogoni former Senator Magnus Ngei Abe – who is, like Amaechi, a member of the APC – responded thus: “When you want to zone, there must be a process, there must be consultations. The people that are being zoned in must understand why they are being zoned in, and the people who are being zoned out must understand why they are being zoned out.

“If you just stand, carry a microphone and begin to zone to “unzone”, and “unzone” to zone, everybody knows what you are doing, and I want to stand here and say that it will not work. If that was an attempt to set the riverine people against the rest of the state, I want to stand here to say that the riverine people I know are smarter than those who are trying to use them. It is a poisoned chalice. It is a Greek gift. It will get you nothing, because it is not well intended, and it is not well intentioned.

“The mind is behind every action of man. Once the mind of somebody who is giving you something is not clear, whatever you are being given you know that it will not be good for you. Don’t take it. No tribe, no group in Rivers State can produce a governor without the support and cooperation of others, without consultation with other groups in the state.

“No one individual has that power. And definitely, the former governor of Rivers State, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, does not have that power as far as Rivers State is concerned. We have to be very factual and honest with one another. Without honesty, we cannot make progress. Without respect for one another we cannot make progress.

“How can anybody get up, in a party where we are to do registration, we have not even concluded the registration, we have not chosen one ward chairman, we have not chosen one ward ex-officio, we have not chosen a local government chairman, we have not elected a chairman of the party in the state, and even before we do any of that, somebody has come out to zone governorship of the party.

“Is that a sensible political action? Will it help the APC to win in Rivers State? It is an action that is doomed to lead to another round of failure, and we should not allow it. To that extent, let me say it here, loud and clear: what the Minister expressed in Ogu-Bolo, singlehandedly zoning the governorship of Rivers State 2023, is his personal opinion, he does not speak for all of us in the APC”.

Hear Hear!

Meanwhile, rumour has it that our PDP Governor, Nyesom Wike, is also considering the possibility of not encouraging an Ogoni succession. I hope this rumour is false.

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