Bayelsa State Government has thrown its weight behind the decision of the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) to ensure intending beneficiaries of the scholarship scheme sit for the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) examination.
PAP Interim Administrator, Colonel Milland Dixion Dikio (rtd), had recently explained that the new policy was to discourage the selling of scholarship slots and encourage excellence.
According to the Bayelsa state government there is nothing wrong in the policy as it would among other things halt the massive racketeering of the scholarship programme and create room for only the most qualified candidates to gain admission into tertiary institutions.
Senior Special Assistant to Governor Douye Diri on PAP, Mr Alaowei Opukeme, said in a statement in Yenagoa, on Wednesday, that those opposed to writing the JAMB examination have not advanced any reason sufficient enough for human comprehension.
While describing the anti-JAMB campaigners as uninformed who want to benefit from a scheme they truly don’t deserve, Opukeme urged Dikio to ignore them as their campaign would come to nought.
Opukeme noted that the government decided to openly support the new policy because of the growing agitation by those who are quick to condemn every new policy, simply because of sentiments or their own shortcomings.
He added that the government would carry out a rigorous campaign on the issue to further enlighten the prospective beneficiaries of the PAP scholarship to see the new policy as a welcome development aimed at providing more employable graduates from the Niger Delta region.
“We have read with dismay some comments against the decision of the amnesty office for its scholarship beneficiaries to sit for JAMB exam. Some of the comments are based on an uninformed point of view, while others are out of sentiments and we are not too comfortable with that.
“As a government, we want to make it loud and clear that on the basis of that issue, we are throwing our weight behind the new policy by Colonel Milland Dikio and want to also align ourselves with his honest remark that 80% of the current recipients of PAP scholarship are not ex-agitators. This is sad!
“Like Dikio said recently, our universities are turning out an army of unskilled unemployable adults into the labour market. We must not encourage that, else in few years to come, we will notice how messed up our society will become.
“The Bayelsa State Government will soon undertake a massive engagement with our youths on this issue. They need to understand that everyone must not go to the university. Those who cannot go to the university can be given vocational training. We have a lot of people who never went to the university but are today major employers of labour”.