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Former Niger Delta Agitators Reject Alleged Appointment of New Presidential Amnesty Coordinator

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A group of repentant Niger Delta militants under the aegis of Signatories to the Presidential Amnesty Declaration For Peace and Development (SPADPD), have kicked against a yet-to-be confirmed report that one Rivers State born Milland Dikio has been appointed as the coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme.

The group in a statement issued in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State Capital, by its coordinator, Kingsley Jackrich insisted that they will resist the appointment of Dikio if the unverified news is true, saying it would be an act of ‘one too many’ in the appointment of persons who completely do not have understanding of the Amnesty Programme.

The group further said that though the official spokespersons of the President, Segun Adesina, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant on Media are yet to make pronouncements on the said appointment but that it is not ready to fold its arms to watch the Federal Government impose a coordinator on former Niger Delta freedom fighters.

Parts of the statement read: “We understand that government business and most especially that of the Presidency of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is done with utmost respect for due process, hence we have found it difficult to believe the said appointment.

“We also know that the official Presidency spokepersons, Segun Adesina, Special Adviser (SA) to the President on Media and Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant (SSA) on Media respectively are the traditional mouthpiece from which such Presidential appointments are made public.

“However we wish to make known our position to His Excellency, President Mohammadu Buhari that, we will resist this appointment if this happens to be the case, this is one too many in the bizarre appointments of persons into the office of coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme; persons who completely have no understanding of the Amnesty Programme, who doesn’t understand the dynamics of the region or have the needed dynamism to run that all important office.

“We have watched with dismay and trepidation the actions of the National Security Adviser (NSA) Babagana Monguno in sabotaging the Presidential Amnesty Programme the last five years, a programme that has hitherto run seamlessly on autopilot. Mr. Monguno had appointed persons whose only criteria for the job is to be friends with him, the appointments of Paul Boroh and Charles Dokubo are enough indictments of the judgement and leadership failures of the NSA.

“We have decided to sheath our swords out of love for the Niger Delta region, respect for the region’s elders who have constantly appealed and played intermediary roles of peace and also to demonstrate that we are not opposed to Mr. President personally or his administration. Infact we believe Mr President Mohammadu Buhari is not a cog in the wheel of the Niger Delta progress. While we await a reciprocal goodwill gesture from the administration of President Buhari with regards to appointing a competent hand in running the tokens in the form of the Amnesty Program, we will continue to hold the peace.

“For over five years we have witnessed the crass display of incompetence, subterfuge and total antipathy by Babagana Monguno in the affairs of the Presidential Amnesty Programme and to the people of the Niger Delta, we have come to the conclusion that he’s unfit, deliberately mischievous and ill equipped to properly evaluate and appreciate the hotspots of the nation’s security architecture, as often displayed by him, this NSA has for too long played the ostrich with our common destiny when the interest of the nation is at stake.

“As signatories to the Amnesty declaration and beneficiaries of the Presidential Amnesty program we shall avail Mr President of the following; It’s an open secret that the Amnesty Programme domiciled under the NSA Babagana Monguno is a complete failure, it should be noted that this same programme ran seamlessly on autopilot before Monguno made it a monumental failure.

“The rot and the pervasive atmosphere in the Presidential Amnesty Programme is hitherto unprecedented, the blame should be squarely put in the office of the NSA Babagana Monguno. This is a brazen affront that runs counter to your administration’s goals.

“Mr. President, it’s your prerogative to appoint an independent panel to look into the rot of the Presidential Amnesty Programme these last five years. An accused cannot be a judge in his own case, it’s unethical and unprofessional for the NSA to appoint an interim management committee on the Presidential Amnesty Programme and at the same time with the powers to mule over the unprecedented looting in the last five years.

“Mr. President sir, we have resolved henceforth not to work with the office of the National Security Adviser (NSA), the Presidential Amnesty Programme needs to be domiciled directly in the presidency for better supervision.

“As we have all witnessed, the NSA continues to intentionally demonstrate that he’s ready to engulf the Niger Delta region and the nation in another round of conflict that we don’t need particularly at this time in our nation’s challenges. He has undoubtedly demonstrated his penchant for personal aggrandisement as opposed to national peace and prosperity and such he’s ready to sacrifice our collective well being as a nation for his personal gains.

“NSA Babagana Monguno drive to wind down the Presidential Amnesty Programme when the objectives of the programme have hardly been met halfway is not only a total negation of the spirit of the Amnesty Declaration but an invitation to anarchy in the region, attacks on the oil and gas industry and an escalation of the precarious security situation in the country.

“Mr. President, we once again appeal to your exhalted office and implore you as father of the nation to listen to the voice of reason, and we join the call of leaders and elders of the region that you appoint from amongst the ranks of those for whom this programme is meant a suitable candidate into the office of the coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme”.

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