Ogheneuvede Ohwovoriole in Abuja
The Forum of Niger Delta ex-agitators enlisted in the second phase of the Presidential Amnesty Programme said on Friday that it had uncovered a plot by a retired major of the Nigerian Army, who was until recently a staff of the Amnesty Office, to distract the new Coordinator of the Amnesty Programme, Professor Charles Dokubo.
Urging the retired army officer to desist in order not to derail the peace process in the Niger Delta, the ex-agitators in a statement said they had reliably found out that the retired army officer, who was eased out of office by the new Coordinator of the Programme, has been â€œconcocting falsehood and devising all manner of subterfuge,â€ in his bid to return to office.
In the statement signed by the Public Relations Officer of the Forum, Mr. Augustine Priye Egba, the forum warned that all the ex-militants enlisted in the Amnesty Programme were vehemently opposed to the return of the retired major to the Amnesty Office, given his antecedents when he served under the former Coordinator of the Programme, Brig-General Paul Boroh (Rtd).
The group further warned him to stop dropping the name of the National Security Adviser (NSA), Major-Gen. Babagana Mongonu, in his alleged bid to undermine the peace and stability that currently prevail in the Amnesty Office and the entire Niger Delta.
According to the statement, â€œThis retired major is fond of using the name of our beloved NSA, General Babagana Mongonu. But we have since found out that he does not have the support or any form of backing from our dear father, the NSA.
â€˜â€™In fact the NSA does not even know this retired major that well. Some of us have better access to the NSA than this impostor. All we know is that there are some persons in the NSAâ€™s office who indulge him and we are warning them too to desist.â€
The group alleged that the retired army officer colluded with others to completely compromise the database of the Amnesty Office and illegally placed hundreds of persons that were never enlisted in the Amnesty Programme in Universities across the country.
The ex-agitators added, â€œThe curious thing is that this retired major is being treated with kid gloves by the inter-agency team in the NSAâ€™s Office that was charged by the President to investigate Borohâ€™s tenure as Coordinator of the Amnesty Office.
â€œThere is also the matter of 140 Itsekiri students illegally placed in Novena University in Delta State. The Itsekiris have 500 slots in the Amnesty Programme and these 140 persons are not among the enlisted 500 Itsekiri delegates on the Programme. Itsekiri Stakeholders are planning a major protest to the Amnesty Office in Abuja. Their grouse is the modus adopted in including these 140 persons in the amnesty Programme without consulting the usual leadership structure in that axis of the Niger Delta.â€™â€™
The forum said it was only the President that could authorise the inclusion of additional persons in the Amnesty Programme.
It further cautioned him against denigrating the highly revered office of the NSA by allegedly claiming to many people that the inter-agency team in the NSAâ€™s Office that was tasked to investigate the activities/tenure of the recently sacked Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, was under his control.