From Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
Zonal chairmen of the Ijaw Youths Council (IYC) Worldwide have insisted that their collective decision to call on President Muhammadu Buhari to make Col. Milland Dixon Dikio the substantive Coordinator, Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) is anchored on Dikio’s examplary performance.
The leaders under the auspices of IYC Chairmanship Forum in a position paper they signed and issued to journalists said within one year in office, Dikio transformed the amnesty programme and adopted unique leadership style that sustained the peace in the region.
Signatories of the position paper include the Chairman, IYC Central Zone and Forum Chairman, Clever Inodu; Chairman, IYC Abuja zone, Chief Diplomat Adam Marbo; Western Zone, Dr. Doubra Okotete and Lagos Chapter, Henry Oyobolo.
According to them Dikio’s vision returned the programme to its original beneficiaries and repositioned it to achieve its main mandate.
The IYC leaders said all critical stakeholders were behind Dikio because of his constant engagements and interactions with them through his back-to-the-region tour programme.
While noting that Dikio and his team deliberately took their gospel of peace to the palaces of traditional rulers, they added that the amnesty boss was known for gathering activists, leaders, and ex-combatants into conference halls in Akwa Ibom, Edo, Rivers, Bayelsa, Delta and Ondo states to deliberate on the essence of sustaining the peace in the region.
The IYC leaders also threw their weight behind the ongoing reforms in PAP and the verification introduced by Dikio to authenticate the real beneficiaries of the programme.
“PAP office should not allow any camp leaders to short-change any beneficiaries of the Presidential Amnesty Programme. The Ijaw Youth Council, Chairmanship Forum of zones and Chapters are in support of the ongoing verification exercise to confirm the real beneficiaries of the 65,000 monthly stipends.
“Col. Milland Dixon Dikio (rtd), the Interim Administrator of the Presidential Amnesty programme always emphasise that violence and its destructive implications should not be associated with the oil-rich Niger Delta. He was fond of asking the youths to devote their strength and creative energy to technology and acquisition of digital skills in order to become dominant forces in the world like their counterparts elsewhere.
“The office before now was a hotbed for incessant protests in the Niger Delta. At the centre of the protests, which always culminated in the blockade of the biggest highway in the Niger Delta, the East West Road was the issue of the non-payment of the N65, 000 monthly stipends to beneficiaries of the programme.
“But since Dikio came, he has undertaken some reforms to ensure that the office of PAP gets it right and monthly stipends are always paid every 25th of the month. Since he took over control of the office, he has embarked on drastic measures to introduce reforms designed to put the PAP on the path of delivering results.”