From Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
Leaders of ex-agitators under the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) have declared that the reappointment of Col. Milland Dixon Dikio (rtd) is an indication that President Muhammadu Buhari listens and sensitive to the yearnings of the Niger Delta region.
According to the leaders, under the First Phase Ex-agitators Forum (FBEF) , Dikio’s renewed mandate would afford him the opportunity to implement his laudable programmes and policies for PAP.
The ex-agitators said they were particularly interested in Dikio enforcing the Train, Employ and Mentor (TEM) model, which he designed to transform beneficiaries into entrepreneurs.
A statement by Dikio’s Special Adviser on Media, Nneotaobase Egbe, over the weekend quoted the leaders as making the remarks when they paid the PAP boss a solidarity visit in his office in Abuja.
Pastor Nature Dumale, who led the delegation, said the reappointment is good for the Federal Government and the Niger Delta region.
“We are here to celebrate with you and also express our gratitude to Mr. President for finding you worthy to complete the reforms and programmes you have set in place that will transform and cause us to become independent.
“Now we can have more employers of labour and we can now get something more sustainable for us and become more reasonable people in the society.
“We commend Mr. President for giving you another chance to complete the Train-Employ-Mentor model that you set in motion in your first term to transform PAP delegates.
“As we have said before, that training model is guaranteed to change delegates from being stipend-dependent to becoming successful entrepreneurs and employable citizens who will contribute meaningfully to the society,” he said.
He further lauded Dikio for his efforts to ensure the region became one of the most secured and peaceful place to live and do business.
Dumale said: “We also thank you for fulfilling your promise to pay the monthly stipends timely and for the other giant steps taken so far to ensure that there is lasting peace in the region.
“We urge you to keep up the good works you started and let the actions of the previous year be matched to produce the necessary result and expectations from the region”.
In his remarks, Dikio reiterated his commitment to make the Niger Delta the most attractive destination in the country and called for collective efforts to achieve that.
“This second term, if I may call it that way, we have done all the talking, it is action time, by the grace of God. There is no time to waste.
“We will follow due process to ensure that our delegates are equipped to contribute positively to the Niger Delta economy and ultimately, to the national economy”, Dikio said.