By Mary Agbejoh
In line with President Mohammadu Buhari renewed drive to transform the Niger Delta and restore enduring peace, the Coordinator, Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), Prof. Charles Dokubo, has presented amnesty entrepreneurs starter packs to 150 Trained Ex-Militant Youths in Bayelsa State, assuring that the Amnesty programme will be reviewed to refocus on its mandate and programmes in order to produce the desired results.
“As his core mandate the Amnesty boss was in Bayelsa yesterday to flag off the start off pack to empower the youth to regain their self-worth, and to contribute to the economy of the nation,
Prof. Dokubo, while presenting Amnesty Started Pack, made up of power generating set, deep Freezer and plastic tanks among others, in Olubiri community of the Opokuma clan in Kolokuma/Opokuma area of Bayelsa, said that the empowerment items is meant to establish beneficiaries as employer of labour and reduce cases of unemployment in their various areas.
He charged the beneficiaries to make judicious use of the equipment provided by the Federal Government through the Amnesty Office, noting that the gesture was a bold step in the concerted efforts by government to deepen peace, safety and security in the Niger Delta. He also lamented that the initiative had not produced expected results in the past as many of the over 20, 000 ex-militants trained by the Amnesty office since inception eight years ago, still remained unemployed.
Prof. Dokubo also noted that the presentation of the Entrepreneur Starter Pack is the last Phase in the process of Amnesty Training, “this will show that the Niger Delta people are not lazy but only need Opportunities. “
Emphasizing that if the right opportunities are created like the present Buhari-led administration is doing, the people of the Niger Delta would not have been suffering if the scheme had lived up to expectations in the past, the reason he said, made his office upon resumption embarked on a study of the failures in implementations of the programme and took a decision to refocus the scheme.
He said: “The amnesty programme has taken a new turn. Amnesty has been here for a very long time, but those of us from this state have not gained effectively. If we have most of our people will not be suffering.
With the new drive by Dokubo it’s clear that this administration was focusing on the reintegration phase of the programme and President Muhammadu Buhari was interested in the scheme reaching rural communities.
The Testimony of One of the Beneficiaries of the Amnesty Starter Pack, Mr Amadi Wonjoku summed it up. “Through Dokubo’s interface with the Ex-Agitators We are now feeling the impact of the President Mohammadu Buhari-led Government.”
Barr. Agbajoh writes from Abuja