….Army commander hails amnesty boss’ soft approach
The Interim Administrator, Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), Col. Milland Dixon Dikio (rtd), has called on some federal ministries and agencies to collaborate with PAP for the overall development of the Niger Delta region.
Dikio said PAP was only one of the approaches designed to tackle the problems in the region, insisting that synergising with other Niger Delta-related ministries and these agencies would facilitate the development of the region.
A statement signed on Thursday by Dikio’s Special Adviser, Media, Nneotaobase Egbe, said the amnesty boss spoke when he paid a courtesy visit to the Commander 2nd Brigade, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.
He said petroleum assets redistribution enabled by the passed Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), the Ministry of Environment and PAP had complementary mandates to develop the region.
Dikio said; “The amnesty programme happens to be one leg, there is a leg on petroleum assets redistribution; the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) is the vehicle for ensuring that and the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs and the NDDC whose mandate is to take care of the agitations or grievances about lack of physical development in the Niger Delta and of course, the Ministry of Environment, whose mandate is to address the issues of environmental degradation”.
Dikio explained that the late President Musa Yar’adua embraced the concept of soft power by establishing PAP as an alternative to the use of kinetic power in resolving issues, adding that his office was saddled with the responsibility of managing the process.
He said the amnesty office was doing everything possible to make ex-agitators understand the importance of adopting alternative ways of expressing their grievances.
Dikio said while in Akwa Ibom he visited some facilities where ex-agitators could be trained, employed and mentored by such organisation.
He said: “We provide the soft approach of administering these ex-agitators and teaching them alternative ways of ways of expressing their misgivings. This we intend to do through our train – employ- mentor (TEM) scheme.
“While in Akwa Ibom State, we visited some facilities with the intention that PAP will pay for the training of these beneficiaries, they will then be employed by these organizations till they know the craft and then be mentored so that they can stand on their own and then be employers of labour”.
He thanked the army commander for his warm reception and promised to keep partnering with security agencies to make the region safe.
In his remarks, the commander 2nd Brigade, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, Brig-Gen. MN Inuwa, commended Dikio’s approach and his deployment of soft power, adding that it had helped reduce violent agitations in the region.
“The combination PAP is adopting is the solution”, he said, also noting that Dikio’s reforms and policies were helpful to the region..