The hope of ex-agitators in the Niger Delta not listed in the Presidential Amnesty Programme to join the programme may have been dashed as the Interim Administrator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), Milland Dikio, has declared that he lacked the powers to admit new beneficiaries into the scheme.
The Media Adviser to Dikio, Neotaobose Egbe, said the PAP Interim Administrator disclosed this when he appeared before the Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions in Abuja to defend a petition against PAP by a former agitator, High Chief Sobomabo Jackrich, popularly known as Egberipapa.
He said it was only the President that had the exclusive power to admit new beneficiaries into the programme.
Jackrich had in his petition accused Dikio of refusing to admit his boys into the scheme despite fulfilling conditions contained in the amnesty proclamation made by late President Umaru Yar’Adua.
Dikio told the Senate committee that though he was aware of the matter raised by Jackrich he did not act on it because he did not have the powers to take in new beneficiaries.
“I lack the power to admit anyone to the scheme because such power can only be exercised by the President. My mandate as Interim Administrator of PAP is to cater for 30,000 ex-agitators, who had been duly registered and captured as beneficiaries of the scheme,” Dikio said.
Dikio said there was no truth in rumours of plans to enlist more beneficiaries to the scheme. He stressed that the programme was focused on 30,000 beneficiaries, who were yet to be trained by PAP and warned people against the antics of scammers.
He said, “Our focus and priority at the moment as far as the amnesty programme is concerned is to make sure that the 30,000 beneficiaries under our watch are well trained and empowered to become employers of labour and net contributors to the economic prosperity of the Niger Delta.
“That’s why it is important to warn youths in the region to totally discountenance any rumour asking or requesting them to fill forms to be enlisted as new beneficiaries of the amnesty programme. It’s a scam pure and simple. They shouldn’t fall for it.”