By Barr Mary Agbajoh
‘’I am optimistic that the new policies and objectives for the Presidential Amnesty Programme under my watch will transform the Niger Delta region.
The region will attain giant strides if the people can positively utilize the instrumentality of the Amnesty Programme provided by the Federal Government, “.Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta, Prof. Charles Dokubo made this statement recently while addressing delegation of the South-South Chiefs, Elders and Opinion Leaders Association of Nigeria (SSCEOLAN) paid him a courtesy visit at Abuja.
He, however warned that the Amnesty Programme cannot effectively serve its purpose if the people of the Niger Delta are not bonded by a common interest to develop the region.
In an effort to transform the programme as stated, Dokubo on resumption of office set in motion credible and positive change with the manner things are handled in the amnesty office in line with the mandate of his principal, President Muhammadu Buhari.
His efforts to effectively manage amnesty programme led to a reduction in the incidence of oil Facility Vandalism and attacks on oil workers. This is as a result of the empowerment of the ex-militants through vocational and academicals training in higher institutions both in Nigeria and overseas countries. Thus, the relative Peace in the area provided a platform for developmental activities to be carried out unhindered. This has resulted in Nigeria being able to meet OPEC quota of 2.2mllion barrel fuel per day in 2018.
It should equally be noted that he effectively managed the reintegration phase by providing the ex-agitators with either vocational training or formal education. Of course, there is also the re-insertion part of reintegration, which entails adding processes of returning already Trained Ex-agitators to civil society. Thus no fewer than 18,721 person have been reintegrated out of he 30,000 enlisted in the programme.
No wonder, in recognition of his achievement as Amnesty Boss, Niger Delta stakeholders who expressed concern over the ugly trend and upon very careful assessment of the situation, decided to throw their weight behind Prof Charles Dokubo to enable him continue with his good work and succeed in this assignment as the Amnesty boss.
The people of Niger Delta have expressed optimism that new policies and objectives for the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) under the watch of the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta, Prof. Charles Dokubo will transform the Niger Delta region.
Dokubo, however, cautioned that the programme cannot effectively serve its purpose if the people of the Niger Delta are not bonded by a common interest to develop the region.
“When the Federal Government brought this programme where we are training our people and sending them abroad, they did it because it is a necessary action. So, we are going to carry out this programme in an all-inclusive manner.
“Wherever you are from the Niger Delta, you must be part of this programme. I’m here to carry out what I call reintegration, training, retraining and bringing out Niger Delta people so that they can be as qualified as any other person in Nigeria,” he said.
To achieve the aforementioned objective, Dokubo has set in motion the establishment of Kayama Empowerment Centre which according to Dokubo the Stores ll be emty for New Commodities for Entrepreneurship
This is the first time since inception of the Amnesty Progranne that a Vocational Centre of this kind will be built for the acquisition of Entrepreneurship skills for new Technology and Empowerment of delegates in line with President Buhari developmental plans for the region
Meanwhile, there is an going Vocational Training Centre for Oil & Gas related Fields in Agadagba
The Adagbrasa Vocational Training Centre established in conjunction with Petroleum Training Institute (PTI) for oil and gas related fields. The Amnesty signed an MoU with the institution to take full charge of the academic affair of the trainng centre.
The centre is to train delegates on the skill of welding and general fabrication The centre which is under the supervision of The Petroleum Training Institute (PTI) will be base on Top Policy placement, Training and Retraining of already Trained delegates. The Vice President Professor Yemi Osibanjo SAN is expected to inaugurate the Centre in few weeks time.
The centre is expected to take off with 50 shortlisted students presently under going profiling in the oil and gas field. There will be Certification after the Trainning Programme.
Thus, taking the aforementioned projects and others under consideration, it is advisable for the people of Niger Delta as advised by Dokubo to make hay while the sun shines to take advantage of Amnesty developmental plans for the Region to empower themselves to build their economy, family, communities and the nation.
- Agbajoh, a lawyer, practises in Abuja