By; PATRICK TITUS, Uyo
Militants in Akwa Ibom State have demanded the immediate and total restructuring of the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) to enable it fulfill its statutory mandate
In the same vein, the Militants also want the sacking of the interim administrator of the PAP, Col. Milland Dixion Dikio (rtd) and his replacement with a substantive Special Adviser/Coordinator.
They also asked for the removal of the supervisory and oversight powers of the programme from the Office of the National Security Adviser.
The agitators under the aegis of Unyek Isong, the Supreme Council for Akwa Ibom militants, accused the PAP interim administrator, Col. Dikio of neglecting their welfare and excluding them from activities of the programme.
In a statement signed by ‘General’ Dede Udofia and ‘Major’ Ibanga Ekeng and made available to journalists in Uyo on Monday, the agitators complained that they have been marginalized and excluded from meetings, trainings and empowerment packages of the PAP.
”Despite the several millions of Naira spent annually by the Amnesty Office on the welfare of Niger Delta ex-agitators, ex-,militants of Akwa Ibom origin who are participants of the Amnesty programme have been neglected, discriminated against, marginalized and completely left out of the major activities of the programme, including trainings and empowerment.
”They are also consistently excluded from meetings and important events that require the participation of ex-militants from the region. Funds so appropriated are derived from the nation’s revenue of which Akwa Ibom is the highest contributor.
”Since the present government came into power, successive administrations of the Amnesty Programme under the supervision of the National Security Adviser have the the Amnesty Programme to their personal investment project leaving some of the ex-militants particularly those from our state neglected and marginalized.
”We have observed the continued exclusion of these affected ex-militants from local and overseas training programmes, stoppage of monthly stipends of over 100 ex-militants from Akwa Ibom state since 2010 and eventual removal of their names from the Amnesty payroll without any cogent reason”, the statement stated in part.
According to them, the PAP was structured and run in such a way that favours their colleagues in Rivers, Bayelsa and Ondo States while the rest from other States are treated as second class ex militants.
They threatened to ‘react’ if the federal government fails to accede to their demands.