From Paul Osuyi, Asaba
Ex-agitators under the Phase III of the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) in Delta State have demanded the return of their guns and other weapons, which they surrendered to the Federal Government in 2011. The ex-militants are making the demand as a result of alleged failure of the FG to fulfil it’s own part of the bargain for the monthly payment of N65, 000.00 stipend to each member of the group.
Coordinator of the Phase III Ex-Agitators in Delta State, Marshal Atake, alleged that the Amnesty Office was excluding them, continuously, from the monthly stipends. Atake said if the government cannot fulfil its obligation, their guns should be released to them. He lamented that since the 2011 documentation of the Phase III at JTF Headquarters Sector 1, Effurun barracks, Warri, the Amnesty Office has allegedly refused to implement the payment of the N65, 000.00 monthly, adding that their colleagues in other states were being paid.
According to him, the documentation exercise started during Kingsley Kuku’s administration, but there was the flimsy excuse that their machines developed fault and promised to complete the documentation and implementation exercise to the final point of payment. He said nothing had been done about it since then.
“We wrote severally to the Amnesty Office when Kingsley Kuku was there and had also written under Col. Milland Dixon Dikio, as the administrator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, but no success.
“We are calling on President Muhammadu Buhari to give Dikio a marching order to include the Phase III ex-agitators in the monthly payment and all the programmes that other members are benefitting from,” he said.
Other ex-agitators including Daniel Egole and Williams Emoghene in their separate statements, insisted on being paid their monthly stipends.
They said they were disarmed 11 years ago, and have not been paid a dime, asking why the discrimination when it was the same gun others dropped that they also dropped, urging the amnesty boss, Col Dikio to pay them their stipends.