Diri begs FG to shelve plan to shut down PAP – Veloxnews


From Femi Foleranmi, YenagoaThe Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has appealed to the Federal Government to jettison any plan to shut down the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP). Diri who however insisted that PAP had yet to achieve its mandate saying even the disarmament phase of the scheme had not been fully realised as arms and ammunition were still in the wrong hands in the Niger Delta. The governor, who spoke when he received the Interim Administrator, PAP, Maj.-Gen. Barry Ndiomu (retd), in Government House, Yenagoa, warned that any attempt to shut down the programme would plunge the region into another round of unrest. “The amnesty programme has three legs. The first is disarmament, a process said to be completed; then the demobilisation leg and finally, the reintegration leg. On the issue of disarmament, can we completely convince ourselves that we have been able to completely disarm the Niger Delta of armaments in our region? “So while we are in the final stage of reintegration, you and I know that within our Niger Delta, we still have very many arms, non state actors are in possession of arms, well that has been said to be completed but I like to state clearly here that, that process is not 100% completed. “It will be very wrong for anybody at this point to bring the amnesty programme to a close. That will amount to insensitive to what is going on in the region”. While acknowledging that the Federal Government had soft-pedalled in its decision to shut down the programme, Diri said the best gift the government could give to the Niger Delta people was to allow the continuity of PAP. Diri, who implored Ndiomu to avoid the temptation of politicising the amnesty office noting that before the births of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the people were one and the same. He observed that Ndiomu was the third person from Bayelsa to man the amnesty office and appealed to him to carry the state along in all his activities to avoid regrets.Diri, raised an objection over the domiciling of the amnesty programme in Abuja and said his administration had donated a parcel of land to erect a befitting office for the scheme and bring it home. “The amnesty programme as it operates today is more of Abuja, it’s almost an alien programme to our people, except people who will visit your offices in Abuja and I’ll like to call on you to ensure that the amnesty programme is indigenized by sighting the headquarters of the presidential Amnesty programme in Yenagoa in Bayelsa state. To this end, the state government has already donated a parcel of land for that purpose”.  

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