Succour came the way of residents of communities impacted during the Niger Delta crises, as the Presidential Amnesty Programme embarked on the distribution of various items, such as starter packs, to the people, as part of its empowerment programme.
The exercise, which involved thousands of recipients drawn from various communities in Rivers, Bayelsa, Delta, Edo, Cross Rivers, Imo, Ondo, Akwa Ibom and Abia states, commenced in Warri, Delta State, on Friday, at the Wellington Hotel.
No fewer than 177 persons profiled from various communities, for each of the 20 distribution centres across states in the Niger Delta, received items for various trades, including welding equipment, tailoring, catering, deep freezers and generators of different sizes.
Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta and Coordinator of Amnesty Programme, Prof. Charles Dokubo, while officially flagging off the empowerment programme, in Abonnema, Akuku-Toru Local Government Area of Rivers State, yesterday, said the gesture was a show of President Muhammadu Buhari’s love for people of the oil-rich region.
“Having served in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, in the course of his military career, President Buhari is conversant with the unpleasant situation of the Niger Delta people, and he is committed to turning around the narrative. President Buhari loves you and will ensure the Niger Delta is stabilised and gets its right place in the country, especially in terms of infrastructure development.
“The fact that he sustained the amnesty programme, despite intense pressure from some quarters, is an evidence of his love for the Niger Delta people, and I urge you to turn out en masse in the forthcoming elections, to cast your ballot and return him for a second term, to enable him do more for our people,” Dokubo said.
He warned recipients of the various items against selling what they got, but to make judicious use of them to eke a living.
“This is a special empowerment for people who are not among the 30,000 beneficiaries captured in the presidential amnesty programme; it is meant for people in crises impacted communities in the Niger Delta. It is to demonstrate that the amnesty programme is for all the people of Niger Delta, and we care for you.”
As of yesterday (Sunday), residents in various communities from Delta, Rivers and Bayelsa states, had benefitted from the distribution exercise held in Warri, Opukiri, Ogwashukwu, Abonnema, Degema and Buguma, even as the programme continues this week at other centres, including Gelegele and Auchi in Edo State, Yakkur/Calabar South, Cross River State; Eket/Ikot-Ikpene, Akwa Ibom State; and Ohaji Egbema/Owerri, in Imo State. Others are Ilaje/Okitikpupa, Ondo State, as well as Ukwa East/West and Umuahia North/South, Abai State.