Peace Tamuno, Yenagoa
The Minister of State for Petroleum resources, Timipre Sylva has commended the interim administrator presidential amnesty programme (PAP), Col. Milland Dixon Dikio (retd) for delivering the mandate of the scheme with lean resources remarking that his achievements were a clear demonstration of his zeal to place himself on the right side of history.
Speaking on Monday when he received Dikio at his country home in Okpoama, Brass Local government area of Bayelsa State, the minister however frowned at the inability of the various interventionist agencies set up by the Federal Government to address the concerns of people of the Niger Delta, saying it was time to make them work.
He said “We have people to stand together as a people. We have had the Presidential Amnesty Programme for a long time but we have not been fortunate. If you look at what the programme was meant to achieve, we have currently not achieved it.
“This is because for some reasons, we have not been very fortunate. We can say that too for the NDDC. If you look at the two organizations there are some reoccurring decimals.
“The people who started this organizations are similar or same persons. So, why are these organizations not delivering on the benefit that we expect from them? That is a great food for thought.
“Something is wrong. In the design, some people deliberately twisted it so that it will suit their own personal aggrandisement instead of helping the growth of the Niger Delta.
“But you have come at this juncture of history and we are very proud of you because you are doing very well. We must say that you are even late in the day because today the amnesty programme is not even getting as much as it used to get.
“If at this moment you are doing so much with the little you are getting, we can only imagine what you would have done during the hay days of the amnesty programme when there was a huge cash flow.
“Everytime I see the National Security Adviser, I thank him for you and I have always pledged my support that anything required from me concerning the amnesty programme I will willingly do it.
Sylva called on the leaders of the region to close ranks to attract more development and lauded Dikio’s Train, Employ and Mentor (TEM) scheme, saying it had made the training of ex-agitators more rewarding.
He said: “Educationally we are very disadvantaged so a programme like this should be able to help us reposition our young men for the future and I’m happy you are doing that. I especially like the idea of tying the two ends together, of training and employment.
“Because if you train young men and you do not have any plans for employment it can become a problem which is what we have seen. Young men are trained with no arrangement for their employment. They come back from their training and they are roaming the streets. They become even more dangerous.