Dikio Explains Payment of N3.7bn to Ex-agitators, Contractors

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Tobi Soniyi

The Interim Administrator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), Col. Milland Dixon Dikio (rtd), has cleared the air on his inability to account for about N3.7billion paid to ex-agitators and contractors.

In a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media, Nneotaobase Egbe, Dikio admitted that he was unable to account for the monies because the payments were made by the previous leaderships of the PAP within the period of 2015 to 2016, while he assumed office as the interim administrator in September 2020.

He further explained that he was in the process of putting things in their proper place so that the purpose for which PAP was set up could be achieved.

Dikio said he’s focused on restoring the mandate of the programme to its original intent of transforming the delegates into skilled and employable citizens who can meaningfully contribute to the development of the Niger Delta region, while also correcting the anomalies that he met on ground.

The PAP boss added that he did not intend to focus on past administrations for the mistakes that truncated the advancement of human capital development of the Niger Delta region.

Rather, he said he was keen to learn from past mistakes, repair the broken foundations, build on it and work towards making the Niger Delta the best and most secure place to live and do business in Nigeria.

According to Dikko, “When I assumed duties as interim administrator of this programme, I was not interested in probing any individual. My main focus was on the mission I was tasked to deliver on, which is to ensure that our delegates are successfully and properly reintegrated into the society.

“This is why, after reviewing the structure that was being used for reintegration, I saw that it did not cater for the delegates in any meaningful way. “It is for this reason that the new end-to-end empowerment model was introduced. It ensures that delegates are trained, mentored and employed, so that there can be a gradual exit from dependence on N65, 000 monthly stipends.”

He reiterated that the vision of the PAP was to ensure post-DDR settlement of the 30,000 ex-militants who he said have not all been properly reintegrated into the society after dropping their arms in 2009.

He appealed for calm among the delegates, assuring them that the PAP, as a security programme, would continue to rise to its task, and would not join issues with those who lack the basic understanding of the programme especially the ramifications of its failure.