By NATHAN NWAKAMMA
Yenagoa, Aug. 26, 2022 (NAN) An ex-agitator in the Niger Delta, Pastor Reuben Wilson, has appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to confirm retired Col. Milland Dikio as substantive Coordinator of Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP).
Wilson’s appeal is contained in a statement issued on Friday in Yenagoa.
According to him, the appeal is because Dikio has brought to bear many positive initiatives that are producing the desired peace and stability in the Niger Delta region.
“PAP is now properly positioned to fulfill its originally designed objectives.
“The introduction of the Train, Employ and Mentor (TEM) model under the administration of Dikio has started yielding results, with respect to the generation of employment for the beneficiaries and productivity of the vendors.
“It’s in fact the panacea to the challenges of unemployment and low productivity in the Niger Delta region.
“The process of awarding contracts to vendors has also changed positively, and the award of contracts is now based purely on competence and capacity of the vendors.
“The process is very robust, stringent and all inclusive and it is only the capable vendors that succeed in getting contracts.
“This has greatly enhanced the quality of services and jobs rendered to the office by vendors, with no room for shabby and mediocre service delivery,” he said.
He further noted that under Dikio’s watch, everything about the amnesty office had taken a positive turn.
Wilson said that monthly payment of stipends to beneficiaries was now prompt and consistent and a justification for the appeal.
“In the past, until blockade of express roads as protest to press home the demand for payment by beneficiaries, before payments were made, but all that has changed under the administration of Dikio.
“The education scholarship programme of PAP has also changed positively. The programme has become more efficient, and the beneficiaries now receive their education support and stipends more timely and consistent in contrast to the past.
“Dikio has also expanded the frontiers of the programme by reaching out to relevant and competent partners, both within the country and abroad, to enhance the programme and the results are obvious for all to see.”
He further said that many achievements and the ongoing transformation of the amnesty scheme witnessed under the administration of Dikio were both outstanding and commendable, adding that a substantive appointment would position Dikio to do more.
He explained that the current designation, Interim Administrator, was limiting to some extent, because some critical stakeholders and partners viewed his appointment as tentative and without full powers.
He noted that the interim status affected the level of commitment from such critical stakeholders and development partners as well as investors who were returning to the area.
“As a critical stakeholder of the Amnesty Programme and the Niger Delta struggle, I make bold to say that confirming the appointment of Dikio as substantive would be for the betterment of the programme and the Niger Delta region.
“It is driven by pure passion, patriotism and honest appraisal of the current positive happenings at the Amnesty Office, and not motivated by any other interest whatsoever,” Wilson said. (NAN)