Bishops and Clergy Council of Niger Delta, Nigeria, (BCCNDN) has said the hitherto restive oil-rich region has recorded tremendous improvement in the lives of the people, through the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), under the leadership of Prof. Charles Dokubo.
The forum of gospel ministers, whose mission fields are in various parts of the Niger Delta, noted that skills acquisition and other projects of the programme initiated by Dokubo have yielded visited results and drastically reduced militancy.
This was even as the bishops conferred on the amnesty boss, award of Apostle of Peace, as reward for his determination to turn around the Niger Delta narrative and achievements recorded within a period of nine months in office.
Speaking in Abuja, on Monday, when a 22-member delegation of the Council visited Dokubo, ArchBishop of the Calvary Temple, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Boma Lawson, pledged support of the religious leaders.
“The main reason for this visit is to identify with you and to encourage you for the good work you’ve been doing since your appointment. Since your inauguration as Coordinator of the amnesty programme, we have noticed tremendous improvement in the lives of our people. Incidents of pipeline vandalisation, kidnapping of oil workers and attacks on the national economy is almost becoming a thing of the past. The other reason for the visit is to register our support for the present management of the amnesty programme.”
Archbishop Lawson expressed the desire of the Council to partner with the Amnesty Office, in the area of counselling former agitators enrolled in the amnesty programme to restore morals that will impact positively in the lives of beneficiaries of the Programme. He urged Dokubo to include members of the Council whenever special purpose committees are set up across all states in the Niger Delta.
In his remarks, Prof. Dokubo lamented the lack of commitment by some youths in the region to optimise opportunities inherent in the amnesty programme, but reiterated unwavering determination to ensure fresh initiatives to uplift the lives of the people.
“It is a painful thing that our people do not want to use this office to empower themselves. This office was not created for me, neither was it created for any of the former SAs. It is to empower the Niger Delta people; to make sure that they are nursed back to life so that they will be in charge of their fortune and future. For me, that is what I intend doing.
“We have opened a training centre in Agadagba, Ondo State. If you go to that oil and gas vocational centre, I think it is the best I have seen in Nigeria.”