The first phase beneficiaries of the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) have warned some aggrieved stakeholders to stop unnecessary petitions and protests against PAP’s Interim Administrator, Col. Milland Dixon Dikio (rtd).
The ex-agitators under the auspices of Leadership, Peace and Cultural Development Initiative (LPCDI) insisted that Dikio had done no wrong and should be allowed to actualise his laudable plans for the region and all beneficiaries of the programme.
LPCDI, which comprises 95 per cent of first phase leaders, in a statement on Thursday by its National President, Chief Reuben Wilson and the National Secretary, Nature Kieghe, said those behind frivolous petitions against Dikio were on a mission to distract him.
Wilson said such individuals were pursuing a selfish agenda against the collective interests of the region and ex-agitators, who were disposed to having Dikio’s appointment confirmed as a substantive coordinator of PAP.
He said: “The programme has witnessed too many frequent leadership changes due to such unnecessary petitions and protests. This has led to sudden truncation of the plans and projects of the past coordinators of the programme and it has slowed down the pace of implementation of the mandate of the programme.
“The frequent changes have led to every new coordinator starting afresh with new plans and projects while abandoning those of his predecessors. This has greatly hindered the stability and effective implementation of the mandate of the Presidential Amnesty Programme.
“It has therefore, become imperative for these unnecessary petitions and protests to stop forthwith, so that Dikio can concentrate on his job and diligently execute his plans and projects for the betterment of the beneficiaries of the programme.
“The frequent changes of Coordinators of the Presidential Amnesty Programme isn’t in the best interest of the Niger Delta region and therefore, should be condemned by all patriotic critical stakeholders of the region.”
Wilson, who acknowledged the rights of aggrieved people to express themselves, however, said criticisms should be constructive and advised such individuals to reach out to Dikio to settle their differences amicably.
“We need unity and peace to accelerate the holistic development of the Niger Delta region. We strongly commend and appreciate those beneficiaries, who have pending issues about their monthly stipends, training, empowerment, with the Presidential Amnesty Office but have demonstrated patience and decorum in handling such issues. We commend you greatly for your peaceful disposition, sacrifices and patience.
“We would like to use this medium to profoundly thank President Buhari, the National Security Adviser and the National Assembly for supporting and sustaining the Presidential Amnesty Programme.
“We are truly grateful and we say a big thank you. Mr President’s positive disposition and support to the programme has made it more responsive to the yearnings of the beneficiaries”, he said.
He said stakeholders should emulate their northern colleagues, who had conducted themselves peacefully in the operations and activities of the North-East Development Commission (NEDC).
Wilson said: “The North-East Development Commission, which is a similar interventionist agency, doesn’t suffer same fate as the Presidential Amnesty Programme.
“The North-East Development Commission is quietly executing its mandate for the betterment of the North-East, without being distracted by unnecessary petitions and protests that could warrant such frequent leadership changes.
“We, hereby, plead with all Niger Deltans and critical stakeholders to work together in unity and facilitate the accelerated development of the Niger Delta region instead of slowing down its pace of development with unnecessary petitions and protests. We should bury our differences, jettison our personal interests and work for the collective interest of the Niger Delta region.”