By Ndubuisi Francis in Abuja
The Presidential Amnesty Programme has commenced the distribution of food and other household items to ameliorate the plight of victims of some flood-ravaged communities in the Niger Delta region.
The week-long exercise, which commenced last weekend, is focused on communities mostly affected by the flood.
The Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta and Coordinator, Amnesty Programme, Prof. Charles Dokubo, said while flagging off the distribution of relief materials at Bomadi, headquarters of Bomadi Local Government, Delta State, that the gesture was to provide succour for the inhabitants of the affected communities who had lived in terrible conditions since their homes and sources of livelihood were consumed by the flood.
A statement issued by his spokesman, Murphy Ganagana, quoted Dokubo as saying: “The Amnesty Programme is meant for the people of Niger Delta and whatever affects communities in the region affects us directly or indirectly.
“President Muhammadu Buhari was moved by reports on your plight and we are here to identify with you in your period of need; we are here to alleviate your pains.”
Dokubo, who was represented by Ganagana, listed rice, beans, noddles, groundnut oil, maggi, tomato and detergents, as among the items being distributed to the flood victims.
Others include bathing soap, disinfectants, and medicals.
He said: “So far, we’ve spent N90 million on purchase of the relief materials we are distributing to the various communities which include Bomadi, Oboro, Okpokunou, Esanma, Akugbene, Ogodobiri, Ezebiri, Ayakoromo, Tuomo, Ogbobagbene, Kpakiama, Obotebe, Ofonibeinghan, Gbekebo,Ogbeingbene, Patani, Aven, Kolowari and Gbaregolor, among several other communities in Delta State.
Communities in Bayelsa State where relief materials are being distributed are Adagbabiri, Odi, Trofani, Kaiama, Esampou, Zarama, Ogbeinbiri, and other communities, Opuama, Ofunama, Shekelewu, Ogbudugbudu, Arogbo, Safa-Arogbo, Agadagba Obon, and Ajakoroama, Opugbini.
Several other communities in Edo and Ondo States would also benefit from the largesse.
At Trofani, Bayelsa State, the Ebedaowei of Kabowei kingdom, Aserifa Hope Torru, while receiving the officials of the Amnesty Office on arrival at his palace before the commencement of distribution of the relief materials in the community, described Dokubo as a humane, responsive and caring leader committed to the interest and welfare of Niger Delta people.
“It is on record that we’ve had several flood disasters in the past; I remember what happened in 2012 and thereafter. This is the first time the Amnesty Office will share in our pains and take steps to ameliorate our plight. This is commendable and I urge other private and public organisations to take a cue from what the Amnesty Office has done to give us succour,” the monarch remarked.
The Chairman of Oboro community in Burutu Local Government of Delta State, Mr. Ebiarede Opukeme, described the federal government’s gesture as soul-lifting.
“We are happy that President Buhari appointed a man like Prof. Dokubo as Coordinator of the Amnesty Programme,” he said.