Fred Ezeh, Abuja
The newly appointed interim administrator for the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), Col. Milland Dikio Dixon (retd), has pledged not to dwell on the past, but pick out relevant lessons from events of the past to enable him forge ahead.
A statement released in Abuja, yesterday, by the Director of Information, Dibiaezue-Eke Florence, said Dixon made the vow at his maiden meeting with the management and staff of PAP shortly after taking over from the caretaker committee led by Ambassador Aminu Lawal.
Dixon assured the staff, delegates, stakeholders and the public that he will work through consensus and facts so as to collaborate and cooperate with agencies that are complementary to PAP.
He also said he intends to clear the ‘cobwebs’ and other obstructions that had slow down the success of the programme so that people will know the difference between the amnesty programme and what he called the “Presidential Amnesty Package.”
He explained: “PAP entails Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration (DDR), but Amnesty Package is a basket of government’s avowed plans to address and ameliorate the grievances that led to the agitations and subsequent armed struggle in the Niger Delta.”
He admitted that, though, lots of fictions and misconceptions might have been put out in the public domain about PAP, the new leadership was determined and committed to change the negative narratives.
He also promised that his administration will focus on service delivery, hence the primary purpose shall be to focus on reintegration of the ex-agitators and seek the input of relevant stakeholders in the region to realize the objectives for which the programme was set up.
Dixon who thanked the caretaker committee for successfully holding forth, assured the management and staff of his readiness to work with everybody, reminding them that accountability was a two-way street.
“Essentially, I am here to render service. To this end, all hands are expected to be on deck to ensure that we successfully achieve the purpose for which the Federal Government set up the DDR Programme,” he appealed.
He thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for finding him worthy for the appointment and assured that he intends to work towards justifying Mr. President’s confidence reposed in him.
The caretaker committee chairman, Lawal, in his address, disclosed that the President has graciously approved all the recommendations of the Committee concerning the smooth running of the Programme.
He commended the management of PAP for their cooperation while working with the committee, and enjoined them to extend same hand of fellowship to the Interim Administrator to ensure the success of the DDR Programme.
Director, Finance and Accounts, Mr. Isaac Ityohuma, in closing remarks noted that the management has resolved to turn a new leaf and correct the past mistakes.
He pledged the unalloyed loyalty and support of the management team to the new interim administrator.