Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, Prof. Charles Dokubo, said at the weekend that though he observed distortions in the structure of the programme on assumption of office, he has maintained zero tolerance for any form of illegality under his watch.
He said even as he had never altered the structure he inherited, especially with regards to beneficiaries captured in the database of the Amnesty Programme, he took steps to redress glaring irregularities and cases of injustice. He spoke yesterday in Calabar, Cross Rivers State, at a meeting with 97 leaders of Niger Delta ex-agitators at the Transcorp Hotel.
Reacting on complaints of exclusion of genuine beneficiaries of the Amnesty Programme under previous administrations, he said such issues were being addressed in line with statutory provisions. He assured that all beneficiaries of the programme will always get their entitlements promptly.
“People that had been excluded knowingly or unknowingly, I have looked at their cases and brought them back so that they could earn what they are entitled to,” he said. “I have seen people who without their knowledge, they were excluded even before I came into office. I have addressed these issues because I can’t allow something that is illegal to take place. If you have an entitlement, your entitlement will be paid to you. I have also gone beyond ensuring prompt payment of stipends; once in a while, I meet with the leadership of ex-agitators to address issues. But we must understand that while the Amnesty Programme is for Niger Delta, not every Niger Deltan is a beneficiary of the Amnesty Programme. There are people who are to benefit from the programme.”