Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Ex-militants to protest over suspended Amnesty Programme

Mr. Ebi said speculations were rife about plans to scrap or wind down the amnesty programme

• October 27, 2020
Niger Delta Militants (Credit: ThisDay)
Niger Delta Militants used to illustrate the story (Credit: ThisDay)

Ex-militants are considering staging a protest over the suspension of the third phase of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, group leader John Ebi said on Tuesday.

Mr. Ebi who spoke on a radio programme in Yenagoa bemoaned the abrupt stoppage of the programmes. He said beneficiaries of the training, empowerment and reintegration programme are now left in limbo due to the non-payment of verified programme contractors since last November.

Mr. Ebi said speculations were rife about plans to scrap or wind down the amnesty programme without fully reintegrating the 30,000 beneficiaries and that the development had caused apprehension amongst the ex-militants.

Chairman of amnesty vendors forum, Samson Graham, confirmed that the Amnesty office suspended payment of contractors since November 2019.

He said the contractors could not continue the training and empowerment schemes without payment.

Mr. Graham appealed to the presidency to facilitate the payment of verified contractors to enable them to return to the various training centres to continue their jobs.

A source at the presidential amnesty office who spoke under anonymity stated that the delay in payment was due to ongoing audit of activities of the previous administration headed by former coordinator, Charles Dokubo

President Muhammadu Buhari suspended Mr. Dokubo in February and announced his sacking on August 26.

The president consequently announced the appointment of Milland Dikio as interim coordinator.

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