Stakeholders under the auspices of the Niger Delta Peace Initiative (NDPI) have called for the transition of the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) to the Niger Delta Stabilisation Programme (NDSP) and the appointment of the current Interim Administrator of PAP, Col. Milland Dixon Dikio (retd) to head the NDSP.
The NDPI in a statement by its Secretary-General, Moses Kolomo and Publicity Secretary, Jacob Aduna, described Dikio as an asset in the stabilisation of the region to avert possible fresh unrest in the future.
They said transiting the programme to NDSP would remove the militancy tag in the Niger Delta associated with PAP and lead to influx of investors to the region.
The stakeholders said the new programme if established by the government would enable the retention of the services of Dikio, whose capacity in managing PAP would ensure the realisation of NDSP and total transformation of the Niger Delta youths.
They explained that the NDSP should be designed to focus on the young ones between the ages of 12 and 18 years to stop the rising influx of youths within the age brackets into cultism.
The stakeholders said if the rising trend were not curtailed, a new generation of youths would be deceived to begin a fresh arms struggle against the Federal Government.
The statement said: “We don’t want to lose Dikio because this is the first time someone has shown selflessness, capacity and genuine motive in the management of the affairs of any Niger Delta programme.
“Since the amnesty programme is not sustainable, we are calling for the transition of PAP into the Niger Delta Stabilisation Programme (NDSP) with the appointment of Dikio to manage it.
“We know that Dikio has perfect understanding of NDSP. We overheard him mention it in different fora and we think it is the best for the Niger Delta region. So, he is the best person that will handle such intervention. We understood that the NDSP will focus on young ones between the ages of 12 and 18.
“This age bracket will determine the future of the Niger Delta. But with the rate people at this age bracket are joining cultism, we are afraid that if no deliberate intervention like NDSP is rolled out by the Federal Government, the region may witness another round of violent agitation in the nearest future”.
The stakeholders explained to Buhari that Dikio had been a bride to the people of the Niger Delta in the management of PAP and should be allowed a longer time to stabilise the region.
They further called on all critical stakeholders to give Dikio the maximum support, saying that the PAP boss had a better vision and plans for Niger Delta people.