- Demands for Account of Funds Released to Amnesty Program
A coalition of Niger Delta Ethnic Nationalities Youth Leaders have called on the Federal Government to adequately fund the Niger Delta Presidential Amnesty Program to enable it fulfil its mandate.
The group which compromises leaders of the Urhobo Youth Assembly, Akwa-Cross Youth Coalition for Peace (AKCYCP), Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) worldwide, Itsekiri Youths,Kalabari indigenous movement (KIM) and the Efik youth council, lead by the President General of the Ethnic Youth Leaders and President of the Ijaw Youth Council Oweilaemi Pereotubo, alleged that the office of the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta Affairs and Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Program has been strangulated and stifled by inadequate funding over the years, thereby limiting its ability to meet its financial obligations as and when due.
The statement which was signed by Comrade Daniel Dasimaka, spokesman IYC, declared that unless the Presidential Amnesty Program is adequately funded the newly appointed Amnesty boss Prof Charles Dokubo and anyone else that occupy that office irrespective of their managerial abilities and acumen are almost bound to fail.
According to the coalition, “Presently, a cabal is fully in control of the Amnesty Program. And as long as things remain so, even if an angel is placed as the figurehead and public face of the program as Gen Boroh before and Prof Dokubo now, the program is bound not to perform optimally. We are therefore calling on the President, Vice President and all those interested in the peace process in the Niger Delta to bridle the Cabal and stop them from unduly meddling in the affairs of the Amnesty program. If they wants the job as Amnesty Program Coordinator, they should leave their current offices and take that, rather than attempt to micromanage it from their office.
The statement alleges that most of the funds budgeted for the program are often not released for the Amnesty Office to meet its obligations, but are rather being withheld by the government yearly.
“The Niger Delta Presidential Amnesty program is one peace building program that has helped the Federal government tremendously to meet its financial targets. Thus it is disheartening that it is not been adequately funded for the past three years.
We are therefore using this medium to call on the Federal Government to ensure the disbursement of all funds earmarked for the Amnesty Office. Our research shows that until his sack, the Gen Boroh led Amnesty program had only received payment for the first quarter of 2017. What do you expect from a Man and office that has only received 2017 first quarter payment by almost the end of first quarter 2018? How can such a person and office perform optimally?
We are thus calling on the President to ensure the timely release of all funds due to the Amnesty Program .” They said
The coalition said “We are also demanding for a comprehensive breakdown of the funds that have been disbursed to the Program since June 2015 to date as this is very vital to the Peace in the Niger Delta because both Civil rights organisations and even the militants whose stipends and other funds have been delayed due to the manner in which the Amnesty Program has been starved of funds due to the politicisation of the program by external forces are very interested in knowing how much exactly has been released to the office so far.”
The Niger Delta Ethnic nationalities coalition is calling on the Federal Government, State Governments and all Nigerians to give Prof Dokubo all the support and financial resources he needs to succeed, “as his failure would have heavy negative consequences for the Niger Delta and Nigeria.”
“we are also calling on the New Amnesty boss to bring his many years of academic and leadership experience to bear in rejigging the Amnesty program for excellence. Dokubo should ensure that ongoing Vocational training Centre are completed to enable the program empower more Niger Deltans.” the statement added