Amnesty Programme: Stakeholders Caution against Politicising Gains

Special Adviser to the President and Coordinator, Amnesty Programme, Prof. Charles Dokubo

Ndubuisi Francis in Abuja

Critical stakeholders in the Niger Delta, including leaders of ex-agitators, community leaders and elders have warned politicians to desist from attempting to make a political fortune of the recently commissioned Oil and Gas Basic Skills Vocational Training Centre, Ondo State by the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP).

The stakeholders expressed dismay that barely two days after the state-of the-art facility was launched for the commencement of training of beneficiaries of the programme in oil and gas skills, there have been fraudulent efforts to rewrite history by claiming or ascribing undue credit for establishment of the project.

Reacting to a report captioned ‘Oil & Gas Training Centre: Ondo Ex-militants Hail Akeredolu, Pledge Support’ which was published in the January 21, 2019 edition of a national newspaper, a leader of ex-agitators in Delta State, Timothy Tensibe, said it was the height of deceit and mischief for a faceless “ex-militant” to hail the incumbent Governor of Ondo State for facilitating the establishment of the facility.

In a statement issued wednesday, Tensibe, a phase two camp leader in the Presidential Amnesty Programme, said it was disheartening that some persons were trying to reap where they did not sow to score cheap political gains, rather than giving credit to President Muhammadu Buhari and the PAP Coordinator, Prof. Charles Dokubo, for achieving the feat.

Part of the statement read: “While we hold the belief that the newly commissioned oil and gas training centre at Agadagba wholly owned by the Amnesty Programme will enhance the training of thousands of beneficiaries and non-beneficiaries of the Programme to fast-track development in the entire Niger Delta region, it is dubious for any individual or group to commend the government of Ondo State for keeping to promises made to former Niger-Delta agitators.

“This is because besides the fact that the Agadagba Oil and Gas Basic Skills Vocational Training Centre is not an initiative of the Ondo State government, it was solely funded by the federal government through the Presidential Amnesty Programme with a vision driven to an enviable end by Prof. Dokubo, acting on the mandate and guidance of President

“Therefore, giving credit for the project to an individual or institution that has no bearing with its conceptualization and implementation amounts to a daylight robbery.”

Similarly, the Niger Delta Progressive Forum for Elders and Community Leaders (NDPFECL) condemned the news report ascribing the establishment of the training facility to the Ondo State government.

Speaking through its Chairman, Chief Deine Amgbaloku, the group described as wicked and nonsensical, attempts to politicise the gains of the Amnesty Programme.

“It is incumbent on all of us, individually and collectively, to give credit to whom it is due as a form of encouragement to attain greater heights. But a situation whereby a public official in a determination to achieve a set objective worked tirelessly to actualize it and others are taking the glory for political expediency is utterly disgusting. An attempt to reduce the gains of the Amnesty Programme under the leadership of President Buhari is a disservice to the Federal Government and the people of Niger Delta”, the NDPFECL noted.