Meanwhile, Chief Government Ekpemupolo, alias Tompolo, frontline ex-Movement for the Emancipation of Niger Delta, MEND leaders, the Ijaw Youth Council, IYC, Niger Delta ex-militants and other stakeholders in the Niger Delta, yesterday, hailed President Muhammudu Buhari over the appointment of Brigadier Gen Paul Boroh (rtd) as the Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme.
Niger Delta ex-militants, who congratulated the newly appointed chairman of the Niger Delta Amnesty programme, said that Buhari had made a wise and deserved choice from the Niger Delta.
Boroh, who arrived the PAP office in Maitama, early in the day, said that he will move quickly to sort out the issue of Amnesty beneficiaries, who are currently out of school abroad as a result of the non-payment of their fees.
He said he will do all within his power to consolidate on the gains of the programme and aid the efforts by Buhari to consolidate peace, safety and security in the Niger Delta.
He said: “Mr President is keen on the smooth and efficient running of the Amnesty Programme. He also wants things done properly. I am going to quickly look into the issue of beneficiaries, who are currently out of schools or training centres as a result of default in payment of fees and allowances. We are going to sort out these issues very fast and stabilize the Programme.”
Similarly, ex-militants and other stakeholders in the Niger Delta have described Boroh’s appointment as apt and responsive, noting it will help solve the concern raised by the people of the Niger Delta over the hitches in the amnesty programme and payment of outstanding allowances and scholarship of the beneficiaries studying at home and abroad.
For Tompolo, “This action shows that the President is a listening leader, and also demonstrates his desire to contribute to the development of the Niger Delta.
“It could be recalled that I called a meeting of ex-agitators’ leaders and other stakeholders in the Niger Delta last week, as a result of the pressure on me to intervene in the seemingly troubled Amnesty Programme due to the non payment of the stipend and allowances to beneficiaries for months now.
“And so, it gives me joy for the President to appoint a high ranking retired military gentleman to coordinate the programme rather than any of the political jobbers, who had advertised themselves in very negative forms in order to be appointed.
“ I want to use this medium to admonish Gen. Boroh to carry out his duty effectively and always consult stakeholders so as to succeed in this assignment,” he added.
While the Ex-MEND leaders, under the aegis of the Leadership, Peace and Cultural Development Initiative, LPCDI , led by Pastor Reuben Wilson, stated that though the delayed appointment had heightened tension among beneficiaries of the programme, “The choice of Boroh is welcomed and commendable.”
The IYC in a statement through its spokesman, Eric Omare described the appointment of General Boroh as well-deserved, adding that the appointee is a true Ijaw son.
Pastor Rueben said: “We welcome the news of the appointment with happiness and expect the hitches experienced with the sacking of Amnesty beneficiaries in higher institutions of learning in Nigeria and abroad to be addressed urgently. It is more gratifying to know that the new appointee is from the region and from Bayelsa State.
“The happiness expressed over the appointment is coming due to the show of listening ears by President Buhari to our appeal expressed by the ex-militant leaders on the heels of avalanche of complaints received by the indigent parents of the Amnesty beneficiaries home and abroad that their children and wards are currently experiencing hardship due to lack of funds.”
“Mr President has shown that his administration did not lose sight on the germane issue that brought about the PAP and has shown that he will save it from total collapse. Mr. President, we use this medium to remind you and the good people of Nigeria of promises to the people of Niger Delta about more positive changes.”