Gov Akeredolu & Dokubo
An antidote to curtail widespread militancy has been advocated by the governor of Ondo state Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN). The learned lawyer turn politician has called on the federal government to use the Presidential Amnesty Programme PAP as a weapon to stopped militancy and unrest in the Niger Delta.
He called for the expansion of the programme to accommodate more ex-militants who have renounced violence and are willing to be integrated into society. The governor assured that as long as there are jobless youths out there in the Niger Delta there will also be unrest and militancy.
The governor gave this advice in Abuja over the weekend while evaluating the performance and impact of PAP under the current tenure of Professor Charles Dokubo, the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta.
Akeredolu lamented that there are some youths who were recently granted amnesty in Ondo state but who have not been absolved into the PAP programme cautioning that such youths, if not accommodated, might go back to militancy and crime.
While on a courtesy visit to Dokubo’s Abuja office, the governor commended the special adviser for repositioning PAP within such a short time and expressed the belief that the programme would become a rallying point of empowerment of youths in the Niger Delta.
Akeredolu & Dokubo
Ondo is among the nine states covered by the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC). The state is also a beneficiary of the amnesty programme of the federal government.
Said Akeredolu “We are here to discuss matters that have to do with amnesty as they affect our people in Ondo State. It is not the first time I have met him. Prof. Dokubo is from Niger Delta and is committed to this programme (Amnesty); that, he has shown today. He has a personal commitment to everything that has to do with Niger Delta because he is one of them.
“I think a few things have been done by him (Dokubo), and from my discussion with him, there must be continuous assessment of this programme, at least, to be sure that people do not take advantage of it. If you have had the opportunity to be trained or you have gone to school, then help yourself and don’t deny others the opportunity to come into the scheme.
“Don’t think that the government has all the funds in this world to spend. People who have been trained should not expect money anymore,” he said.
Responding to the governor’s remark, Dokubo expressed the willingness of PAP to train more Niger Delta youths at the world-class training facility which has been completed and activated within the Niger Delta region, if state governments in the region were ready to pay monthly stipends for their delegates.
“But if we have to involve non-beneficiaries of the programme in our training without payment of stipends, I will not be happy or willing to do so because that will be discriminatory. I can assist you with the training, but that means they will have to receive stipends from Ondo State government,” he noted.