Niger-Delta ex-militants under the umbrella of Urhobo-Isoko Youth Wing and Ex-agitator leaders of the Phases 1, 2 and 3 of the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), yesterday, petitioned President Muhammadu Buhari and Col. Milland Dikio, the Interim Administrator of the PAP.
The Urhobo-Isoko Ex-militants Youth Wing and Ex-Agitator leaders who spoke to newsmen through its Chairman, ‘Gen.’ Joseph Figbele and Vice Chairman, ‘Gen’ Solomon Adu and Secretary, ‘Gen.’ Abraham Ekokotu, said the continuous exclusion of the Phases 1, 2 and 3 of the programme in all the amnesty programmes held in Nigeria and in diaspora is unacceptable.
The group had lamented that several programmes had come up in the past that had benefited other ex-militant and ex-agitator groups without recourse to the plights of the Urhobo/Isoko Ex-Militants Youth Wing and the Ex-agitator Leaders in the region and nothing has been said as the rational behind who and who not to benefit.
He said the amnesty programme was created to better the lives of the youths of the Niger Delta region, but expressed fears if the purpose is not being defeated, if regions like Urhobo/Isoko oil bearing Communities are being excluded in the amnesty programme meant for the people of the area..
They said several programmes have been held, instances of it is the one between 2012 and 2015 where artisans were trained and given starter packs after graduation, while in 2009 some persons were lodged in Lagos for three days, only to be given peanuts as packages without training, even if it was done poor by the management, Urhobo/Isoko Ex-agitators were still excluded.
“How can the PAP office be paying school fees of some students and monthly stipends of seventy thousand naira to students from one region without considering people from the Urhobo/Iskoko Ex-agitators and their plight, adding that if this anomaly not corrected the country will be made hell.
“At a time about 72 students were also sent to Copenhagen-Malmo Maritime Academy, Sweden, for a nine-month training on Nautical Science in 2014, but none was considered from Urhobo/Isoko region, hence we are asking Col. Milland Dixon Dikio, the Interim Administrator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), the reason for the exclusion.”