Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has assured that the governors in the Niger Delta region would support the new vision of the interim administrator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), Col. Milland Dixon Dikio (Rtd).
Diri, who spoke when Dikio paid him a visit in Government House, Yenagoa, as part of his tour of the Niger Delta, appealed to the Federal Government to revisit the disarmament and demobilisation phase of the programme, lamenting proliferation of light weapons in the region.
He advised the administrator to explore a different approach of appointing liaison officers in all the states in the region to work with the government of each state.
Diri requested the Amnesty Office to furnish his government with the list of ex-agitators from Bayelsa who have been trained and those yet to be trained in the programme.
While insisting that PAP would make more progress when it works in synergy with the state governments of the region, he commended Dikio for soliciting their cooperation and urged him to set up a functional regional office preferably in Bayelsa.
“I am aware that this programme is at its very important stage which is reintegration but it is even questionable if we have completed the Disarmament and Demobilisation stage. This is because the prevalence of light weapons in the region is still very alarming. We need to mop up the small and light weapons in the region.
“I believe you have studied your briefs and this tour you have embarked on is good because it will afford you to see things for yourself. Appoint liaison officers to work with the state governments so you can do things differently.
“This is not the time to play politics or politicise the PAP. If we do so, it will affect all of us. Let nobody deceive you that because we are all PDP governors in the region, we will not work with you. We will work with you. For me I am always ready to support you and work to ensure you succeed.
Earlier in his remarks, Dikio said he was on a mission to return the programme to the region, adding that his team had the capacity to change the narratives.
He said: “We are here in Bayelsa because of the ‘‘back-to-the-region’’ tour. We have met with some critical stakeholders and also held a summit to discuss the future of the PAP.
“I am here basically to sell a new vision, a vision that we can change the paradigm.
A toxic environment is antithetical to development. Even if we are right we shouldn’t shoot ourselves in the foot. We need to have more entrepreneurial approach to our issues. I am very confident that where there is hope there is a bright future”.