From Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
Ijaw leaders have threatened to name and shame corrupt contractors behind the ongoing campaign of calumny against the Interim Administrator, Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), Col Milland Dixon Dikio (retd).
The leaders under the auspices of the Ijaw Forward Movement (IFM) lamented that a set of contractors were up in arms against Dikio for refusing to do their bidding.
The Coordinator, IFM, Anthony Oki, in a statement he signed said Dikio’s offence was his insistence on cleaning up the payment process by following due process to verify projects done by amnesty contractors before approving the disbursement of funds.
The IFM urged Dikio to remain resolute and focused in discharging the functions of his office with zero-tolerance for corruption adding that PAP despite all the distractions was living up to its mandate for the first time in the history of the programme.
According to the group, one of the contractor’s negligence led to the massive looting of amnesty kits worth over N15bn kept at Kaiama training centre in Kolokuma-Opokuma, Bayelsa State.
They declared that the contractors constitute a major problem of the amnesty programme by hijacking the programme using all manner of underhand tactics to corner a significant chunk of monies earmarked to empower ex-militants.
The statement read in part: ‘They are behind the failures of the programme and the inability of past coordinators to realise the mandates of PAP. They claim they have trained and empowered about 22,000 ex-militants. Does the Niger Delta look like a region where even 5000 persons had been trained and empowered?
‘As an organisation, we took our time to probe the activities of these contractors and our discovery from field reports shows that most of these so-called contractors do not spend up to 15 per cent of funds given to them to train and empower beneficiaries.
‘They corner this money to maintain their flamboyant lifestyles in Abuja and Lagos. They are the ones, who drive exotic cars and live in mansions while those who fought for the amnesty programme wallow in abject poverty. They dangle carrots before the beneficiaries and compel them to sign papers on fake empowerment programmes.
‘They became enraged recently when about N26 billion unspent amnesty fund was retrieved by the Federal Government in line with the anti-corruption principle of the federal government. Their anger is that Dikio refused to share the money with them within two days.’