Beneficiaries of the second and third phases of the Presidential Amnesty Programme have appealed to the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), to extend the tenure of the Interim Administrator, Col Milland Dikio (retd.).
The ex-agitators made the appeal on the side-lines of the inaugural edition of the Boyloaf Annual Lecture and launch of the Boyloaf Foundation in commemoration of the 50th birthday of Ebikabowei Victor-Ben, also known as General Boyloaf, in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.
The National Vice-President of the Phase Two PAP, Collins Arigo, said the appeal became necessary due to Dikio’s open door policy, infectious style of leadership and his commitment to the peace and development of the Niger Delta region.
Arigo said the PAP boss had settled all outstanding stipends of beneficiaries that were pending before he assumed office and the payment of monthly stipends had been prompt.
He stated, “We commend Col Dikio for the way he has been handling the PAP. Before now, we owed debts before our stipends were paid. But today, since he became the PAP boss, our stipends are paid latest on the 25th of every month. He is committed to peace and development in the Niger Delta region.
“If you have any issues and bring it to his notice, he listens. He has a listening ear. We don’t have any problems with the amnesty programme. As leaders of the Phase Two of the amnesty programme, we are comfortable with his fantastic style of leadership.
“We want to use this opportunity to call on Mr President, Muhammadu Buhari, to extend the tenure of Col Dikio to enable him consolidate the good things he is doing at the amnesty office. Mr President, please give a thought to our appeal and extend his tenure.”
Another ex-agitator, Asenekiri Oghile, said Dikio had demonstrated sincerity of purpose in the administration of the programme to ensure peace in the region.
He pointed out that the PAP boss had also brokered peace over litigation concerning the scheme and had been consistent in the payment of stipends.
Oghile stated, “We thank Col Dikio for his sincerity in running the affairs of the amnesty programme. He has done well for the Niger Delta. There is peace and harmony in the creeks. He has settled some outstanding issues like litigation and paid stipends regularly.
“We want to appreciate President Buhari and call on him to extend the tenure of Col Dikio. In one accord, we also pray to God to give him (Dikio) a long life.”
The leaders congratulated Victor-Ben on his 50th birthday and the official launch of his foundation to tackle issues affecting the Niger Delta boy child, describing him as a true leader, who was committed to peace and development in the region.