By Davies Iheamnachor
The Pan-Niger Delta Forum, PANDEF, has told the Interim Administrator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, PAP, Col. Milland Dikio (retd), that the activities of the office would determine if the relative peace in the oil region would be sustained or thwarted.
PANDEF also threw its weight behind all the reforms in PAP, especially the new vision of Dikio to transform the ex-agitators into entrepreneurs.
Appraising the achievements of Dikio since the assumption of office, PANDEF noted that the beneficiaries of the programme and critical stakeholders in the region have continued to speak well of his performance and visionary leadership.
A statement in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, by Dikio’s Special Adviser on Media, Neotaobase Egbe, said PANDEF spoke when its executive members led by its National Chairman and former Deputy Chief Whip of the Senate, Senator Emmanuel Essien, paid a courtesy visit on the amnesty boss in the office.
Essien, who read the position of PANDEF, particularly commended Dikio’s new vision of transforming ex-agitators and beneficiaries of the programme into entrepreneurs and employable citizens to make theircontributoins to the economy of the region and the nation.
He said to actualise the vision, Dikio introduced a new model of train, employ and mentor and the concept of constituting ex-agitators into cooperatives in the areas of maritime security, food security and maritime transport.
Essien applauded Dikio’s idea to set up the Strategic Communication Committee, SCC, to address issues of misinformation about the programme and the region and appealed to the amnesty boss to consider setting up a proper monitoring and evaluation structure to validate the progress of the beneficiaries, projects and programmes of PAP.
He said: “Your assignment is of great importance to the Niger Delta. Whatever happens here has a huge ripple effect on the region and will help to either sustain or hamper the relative peace in the region.
“Fortunately, as we stated in our letter to you, we are pleased with the report of a paradigm shift in the administration and operations of PAP since you took over.”
Meanwhile, Dikio in his response, harped on the need for partnership, stating that more positive results would be achieved if all stakeholders worked together.
Dikio said the conversation on Niger Delta Recovery Plan must be broadened and that other aspects of the training must be explored, especially in the oil and gas sector, food and agriculture, maritime security and marine transport.