Jonathan Urges Amnesty Programme to Sustain Training of Ex-militants

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Former President Goodluck Jonathan hosted the new Interim Administrator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) in Abuja, Col. Milland Dixon Dikio (rtd) recently and urged him to give priority to the sustenance of human capital development in the region in line with the objectives of the programme.

The Interim Administrator visited him to signal the commencement of consultative meetings with critical stakeholders in the Niger Delta, having met with President Muhammadu Buhari last week.

Jonathan advised Dikio to ensure that the scholarships for degree programmes within and outside the country alongside payment of monthly stipends to beneficiaries of the Programme are given the deserved priority.

According to a statement issued by the Director of Information at PAP, Mrs. Florence Dibiaezue-Eke, the former President urged the new leader of the Amnesty Programme to avoid the temptation of taking on responsibilities beyond the funding capacity of the Office.

“One thing I should tell you also is that you should not bite more than you can chew as the saying goes. You should accommodate the projects which you think you can effectively carry out with your budget,” Jonathan said.

Jonathan added that the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and the Presidential Amnesty Office have been of concern to the stakeholders even though the Amnesty Programme has fared better in terms of pursuing the objectives that inspired its establishment.

He admonished that if 70 per cent of funds budgeted for the two agencies were utilised for the intended purposes, the Niger Delta region would have been better.

Earlier in his remark, Dikio hailed Jonathan for his historic role as the first President from the Niger Delta and midwifing the entire Amnesty process as the then Vice President to the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua.

He added that his visit to the former President is in furtherance to his consultation with critical stakeholders in the region on how best to approach and tackle the task of productively running the office to the benefit of the region and Nigeria.