Presidential Amnesty Office Has Appealed To Former Agitators In Niger Delta To Be Calm And Eschew Any Act That Would Disturb Peace In The Region.
The Presidential Amnesty Office has appealed to former agitators in the Niger Delta to be calm and eschew any act that would disturb the peace of the region. The Amnesty Office in a press release issued by the Head of Media and Communications, Mr. Daniel Alabrah, said the appeal became necessary following the delay in the payment of the May 2015 stipends and intraining allowances to onshore and offshore beneficiaries of the programme.
It explained that the delay was occasioned by the ongoing transition process at the federal level. It however assured beneficiaries that the funds for the May 2015 stipends and other allowances of beneficiaries had been released and was intact but that the office was awaiting the required directive for disbursement in the absence of a substantive chairman of the programme or a Special Adviser to oversee the programme.
It urged the former agitators to reciprocate the good gesture of President Muhammadu Buhari, who in his inauguration address on May 29 assured of investing heavily in the programme, by maintaining the peace at this time. “This is a transition period. So it is important for citizens and especially the former agitators to be patient with the new government, which needs time to settle down to the serious business of governance,” it said.
The office also dismissed as untrue an allegation by some former agitators that the Director of Finance and Accounts, Mr. Peter Ayoola, was planning to divert funds meant for beneficiaries, saying the allegation was not only spurious and unfounded but that also such act was impossible given the strict accounting system in place at the federal level.
While assuring that the vision of the programme will be upheld and made to conform to the present realities, it said in the last four years the programme had done better in terms of structure, programmes and implementation. “For instance, it has exceeded its conceptual target of 3 – 6 months artisan training and has evolved into training and producing properly certified technicians, artisans and other professionals in various fields.
From 2012, the programme under Hon. Kingsley Kuku also introduced educational schemes at the undergraduate and postgraduates levels. Today, no fewer than 4,000 youths are beneficiaries of this scheme,” it said.