Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta and Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, Brigadier General Paul Tarela Boroh (retd), has said those calling for his sack are those who are no longer benefiting from the system.
He said at the weekend when he spoke with State House Correspondents in Abuja.
Some ex-agitators recently called for his sack and accused him of mortgaging their future.
Some of the ex-agitators, who protested at Opokuma Junction axis of East –West Road and Igbogene gateway, in Yenagoa Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, alleged that the programme has been hijacked by northerners, lack of consultation, non-performance and diversion of funds meant for implementation of the programme by officials.
But, Boroh replied: “I want to let you know that what is happening in the amnesty programme is no more business as usual; that is the bottomline of all that is happening.
“The programme actually is a security programme that has to do with critical stakeholders who drive the process in the programme.
“I’m only there to supervise what they are doing so that we can achieve the aim for which the programme was established; to ensure youth restiveness is not allowed and ensure peace and stability of the Niger Delta region.”
Boroh also added that, so far, the Federal Government has offered employment to 350 ex-agitators from the Niger Delta region, who graduated from various tertiary institutions across the world.
He added that the 350 graduates were among the 30,000 ex-agitators sponsored for various studies abroad by the amnesty office.
Boroh added that the affected ex-agitators have already been posted to various federal ministries, awaiting approval of the 2018 Appropriation Bill by the National Assembly.
“The federal government ensured that about 350 of them have been employed in the various ministries in the country.
“We are only waiting for appropriation so that once they report to their various ministries, they will start earning their salaries.”
The presidential aide described as untrue and false reports that some of the ex-agitators studying abroad had been abandoned.
“I will never allow any of my children schooling outside this country under government (sponsorship) to suffer.
“So, 96 per cent of those on off-shore scholarship have graduated and returned home.
“I have only a few, in fact, not more than 10,000 of them left globally where they have been schooling in the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Asian countries and South Africa – they have graduated and have come home.
“The ones that refused to graduate and are trying to make life unbearable for themselves is their own cup of tea. The federal government is not responsible for them anymore,” Boroh said.
Boroh, who said no date has been fixed for the end of the amnesty programme, added that his office is in the process of achieving sustainable reintegration of the ex-agitators in the programme.
He also said his task is to continue to ensure peace and stability in the Niger Delta.