July 19, 2024

Diri Speak On Continuity Of PAP, Says Amnesty Programme Is Best Gift To Niger Delta

Bayelsa State governor, Douye Diri, has urged the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government not to end the Presidential Amnesty Programme, saying the programme is yet to achieve its objectives.

Diri insisted that PAP is yet to achieve its mandate, saying even the disarmament phase of the scheme has not been fully realised as arms and ammunition are still in the wrong hands in the Niger Delta.

The governor, who spoke when he received the Interim Administrator, PAP, Major General Barry Ndiomu (retd.), in Government House, Yenagoa, warned that any attempt to shut down the programme would plunge the region into another round of unrest.
He said: “The amnesty programme has three legs. The first is disarmament, a process, said to be completed; then the demobilisation leg and finally, the reintegration leg. On the issue of disarmament, can we completely convince ourselves that we have been able to completely disarm the Niger Delta of armaments in our region?

“So while we are in the final stage of reintegration, you and I know that within our Niger Delta, we still have very many arms, non-state actors are in possession of arms, well that has been said to be completed but I like to state clearly here that the process is not 100 per cent completed.

“Now I will like to look more at the issue of reintegration. The reintegration is more like a continuous process of building human capacity and for you to continue to build human capacity, it follows that the amnesty programme must be on and I’m happy while listening to you that you have already taken that up.

“It will be wrong for anybody at this point to bring the amnesty programme to a close. That will amount to being insensitive to what is going on in the region.”

While acknowledging that the Federal Government has soft-pedalled in its decision to shut down the programme, Diri said the best gift the government could give to the Niger Delta people is to allow the continuity of PAP.

The governor urged Ndiomu to deal with the challenges in the programme and write his name in gold, insisting that the problems are huge enough to contemplate closing the scheme.

“Let me use this opportunity of your courtesy call to call on the FG that the best thing and the best gift to the Niger Delta is to continue to support and keep the Presidential Amnesty Programme going.

“As you have rightly stated, yes, there are challenges, but then the Amnesty programme has also recorded some degree of success. 

“Those challenges are the reasons our people keep coming and going. So, for me at every given opportunity, it is a time to write your name in gold and indeed, write the name of your state, Bayelsa, in gold.

“If you have come and found certain challenges, we know you have the capacity to confront those challenges. Whatever you can do to ensure that the Amnesty programme will continue to exist, please do them and let our people be the final beneficiaries of this programme,” Diri said

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