Home Politics Ijaw group condemns smear campaigns against PAP boss, Dikio

Ijaw group condemns smear campaigns against PAP boss, Dikio

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By NATHAN NWAKAMMA

Col. Milland Dixon Dikio (rtd)

YENAGOA- The Watchdog for Progressive Ijaws (WPI) on Tuesday condemned alleged smear campaigns targeting the Interim Administrator of the  Presidential Amnesty Programme  (PAP), Col. Milland Dixon Dikio (rtd).

The Coordinator, WPI, Mr Lambart Olambo, in a statement, alleged that the motive of the smear campaign was to ensure that Dikio was not re-appointed and confirmed as the substantive coordinator of the programme.

According to WPI the campaign is being sponsored by a few selfish politicians and other enemies of the Niger Delta.

Olambo, in the statement, said that some politicians were desperately coveting the amnesty office in order to divert its resources to fund their political ambitions.

According to the WPI, the politicians were bankrolling their attack dogs to make spurious, baseless and unfounded claims against Dikio.

Olambo also alleged that an ex-agitator (name withheld) had been recruited to drive the “Dikio-Must-Go Campaign“.

He described as laughable attempts by to blame illegal bunkering and pipeline vandalism in the region on Dikio saying such a claim was unintelligent and childish.

“Having found Dikio spotless, accountable and transparent in all his dealings, especially in the management of PAP funds, they resorted to flying a lame kite that he was the reason behind the increase in oil theft in the region for not paying “some ghosts“ amnesty stipends.

“It is obvious they have nothing to use against Dikio because this claim to us is lame. We have followed Dikio since he assumed office and his management of the amnesty programme and we unequivocally state that he is the best that has managed the scheme.

“Dikio diligently reformed PAP, weeded out all ghost names swallowing the programme resources from the payroll.

“He automated the payments of monthly stipends to ex-agitators in such a way that on the 25th of every month, their bank accounts are credited with their N65,000 monthly stipends.

“This alone eliminated tension caused in the Niger Delta by ex-agitators’ past habit of blocking the East-West Road to protest against the non-payment of the arrears of unpaid stipends,“ he said.

Olambo, in the statement, said that Dikio had reformed the contracting process of PAP, removing all portfolio contractors and ensuring that only verifiable firms and known facilities that meet PAP’s standard will train, employ and mentor the programme’s beneficiaries.

He said that the group observed that Dikio totally changed the orientation of ex-agitators, who now see themselves as change agents and partners with the Federal Government in sustaining the peace in the Niger Delta.

WPI noted that under the new model of Train, Employ and Mentor (TEM) introduced by Dikio, the ex-agitators are now preparing themselves for a life after PAP as entrepreneurs, skilled and employable workers.

“For the first time in the history of PAP, Dikio goes down to the creeks of the Niger Delta regularly to hold interactions with different groups of ex-agitators and all other stakeholders of the programme.

“We believe that PAP has been refocused by Dikio to achieve its mandate and the vision of Dikio for Niger Delta remained the best for peace and the development of the region,”  WPI stated.

Olambo challenged the masterminds of the smear campaign to publish the names of ex-agitators they claimed were not paid their stipends and were forced by the development to engage in illegal oil bunkering and other forms of oil theft for survival.

Olambo insisted that those behind the smear campaigns were simply pushing an agenda to kick Dikio out of the way to enable them have unfettered access to the coffers of PAP to fund their 2023 ambitions.

He said the campaign was at the detriment of the ex-agitators and the ongoing peace-building in the Niger Delta. (NAN)

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