Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja
A coalition of Niger Delta ex-agitators has charged President Muhammadu Buhari to appoint a substantive coordinator for the Presidential Amnesty Programme or recall the suspended coordinator, Professor Charles Dokubo.
The coalition in a statement by the chairman of Amnesty Phase II, Delta State, Chief Kingsley Muturu, on Thursday, said the continued stay of the Interim Committee put in place by the government to oversee the programme, in the aftermath of the suspension of Dokubo was capable of derailing the programme.
The coalition argued that the interim committee, which consists mainly of persons from outside the Niger Delta was not in the best position to suprintend over the amnesty programmes, as they members are not conversant with the main objectives of the programme.
The ex-agitators noted that though President, after the suspension of Dokubo had charged the interim committee “to ensure that allocated resources are properly utilized in consonance with the government’s objective of alleviating problems in the Niger Delta region and stamping out corruption in the Amnesty Programme,” the committee has even stalled the smooth running of the programme. ”
According to them, “We are not against the setting up of the interim committee. But we strongly believe that they have overstayed their welcome. They have stalled the running of the office thereby impacting negatively on the lofty objectives of the program, which includes amongst other things keeping the peace in the region.
“In keeping with our avowed stance on peace since we laid down our arms, we call on the president to expedite actions in appointing a substantive coordinator for the programme or return Professor Dokubo who was only suspended and not sacked.
“We know the president means well for the region and wouldn’t deliberately do anything to undermine the peace in the region. This explains our grounds of passionate appeal to as a matter of urgency appoint a coordinator for the Amnesty Office so that the gains achieved so far shall not be rolled back.”