Iheanacho Nwosu, Abuja
Stakeholders in the Niger Delta have thrown their weight behind the peace initiative of the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta and Coordinator of Amnesty Programme, Prof. Charles Dokubo, describing it as vital in sustaining peace in the restive region.
They specifically lauded Dokubo for successfully hosting key leaders of former agitators of various camps in the Niger Delta at a meeting in Lagos, to deepen peace and stability in the restive region.
A statement by Special Assistant (Media) to Dokubo, Murphy Ganagana, quoted a community leader, Chief Famous Ayakpo, as saying the meeting was the first of its kind by the leadership of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, since its creation in 2009.
“I am happy because since the establishment of the Amnesty Programme, nobody has been able to bring together the major five leaders of former agitators to sit and discuss how to keep the peace and move the Niger Delta forward.”
Ayakpo said it is an indication of serious interest by the Federal Government to enthrone sustainable peace in the Niger Delta as well as enhance infrastructure and human capital development as well as job creation for the youths.
Speaking in the same vein, Chairman of the Niger Delta Progressive Initiative, a pan-Niger Delta group, Dr. Kapwell Omoni, commended President Muhammadu Buhari for his choice of Dokubo. He described Dokubo’s recent meeting with the leadership of former agitators in the Niger Delta as a sign of good tidings in the region.
“We are now optimistic that our dream of sustainable peace and development in the near future will soon be realised. It shows his commitment towards this course, and we pledge our support to the federal government in this new drive to reposition the Presidential Amnesty Programme,” he said.
Dokubo had, in a consultative meeting with members of the executive committee of the Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), in Abuja, urged leaders and elders of the Niger Delta not to pursue individual interests, but advice and guide him on things that would benefit the people of the region.
Dokubo, who said issues of the Niger Delta were being addressed, described the amnesty programme as work in progress.