The supreme council of ex-militants in Akwa Ibom State under the umbrella body of Unyek Isong has called for the restructuring of the Presidential Amnesty Programme as well as the immediate sack of the interim administrator of the programme, Col. Milland Dixion Dikio(retd).
In a statement signed by the Chairman and the Secretaries respectively, ‘General’ Dede Udofia and ‘Major’ Ibanga Ekeng and sent to journalists in Uyo, the group also asked for the removal of the supervisory and oversight powers of the programme from the Office of the National Security Adviser to enable it fulfill its statutory mandate.
They, however, accused the PAP interim administrator, Col. Dikio of neglecting their welfare and excluding them from activities of the programme and asked that he be replaced with a substantive special adviser/coordinator.
The ex-militants who threatened to react if the federal government fails to do something about their demands alleged that the amnesty programme was structured and run in such a way that favours their colleagues in Rivers, Bayelsa and Ondo States while the rest from other States are left out.
They further alleged that ex-militants from Akwa Ibom State have been discriminated against, marginalized and excluded from major activities such as empowerment and trainings both at the national and international levels irrespective of the millions of Naira spent annually on the welfare of Niger Delta ex-militants by the Amnesty Office.
Stressing that funds so appropriated are derived from the nation’s revenue of which Akwa Ibom is the highest contributor.
The statement in parts, “Since the present government came into power, successive administrations of the Amnesty Programme under the supervision of the National Security Adviser have the Amnesty Programme to their personal investment project leaving some of the ex-militants particularly those from our state neglected and marginalized.
”We have observed the continued exclusion of these affected ex-militants from local and overseas training programmes, stoppage of monthly stipends of over 100 ex-militants from Akwa Ibom State since 2010 and eventual removal of their names from the Amnesty payroll without cogent reasons.
“We must react if the federal government fails to to honour our demands because we can no longer keep quiet.”