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Why ex-Niger Delta militants, youths must embrace change, by Dokubo



The Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta and Coordinator of the Amnesty Programme, Prof. Charles Dokubo has declared that ex-militants that currently benefit from the Federal Government empowerment programme must embrace change in order to become key players in the region’s economy.
Dokubo, who spoke yesterday in Port Harcourt, Rivers State during the opening of a three-day entrepreneurial fair for amnesty beneficiaries, also charged youths in the region to utilize the opportunities that come their way as they stand to benefit from such opportunities in the long run.
The fair, organised by the Amnesty Office with the Port Harcourt Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (PHACCIMA) is aimed at showcasing the products of no fewer than 50 beneficiaries of the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP).
He noted that contrary to the perception in some quarters that Niger Delta people were lazy and violent, Dokubo said that the people of the region had passed through some terrible experience in the past, and that they only needed support such the one provided by the Amnesty Office in order to excel.
The Amnesty Coordinator said: “We are not lazy. All we need is opportunity, which is what amnesty is providing our people. Things are changing, we must embrace change. We want to empower our people so that they can walk tall and say they now have a source of livelihood.
“I want to strengthen the amnesty programme so that people will continue to earn a living and forget about violence.”
While noting that the amnesty programme is not aimed at buying peace for continuous oil production in the Niger Delta, Dokubo stressed that the region had a homegrown and home-driven amnesty programme that works towards providing economic opportunities for the people.
He further said: “The fair is to improve on the business of our delegates by providing links for business expansion, with less dependency on young entrepreneurs fighting for self-elevation in the market alone, but to give them a formal support that explore potential partners in the business world.
“The value chain effect of this fair will serve as a motivator to other delegates in taking their businesses serious. When the businesses are booming, it will offer opportunities for expansion, and thus contribute to job creation and wealth generation, which is in line with my vision at the Presidential Amnesty Programme.”
“The Post Training and Engagement (PTE) Unit has so far empowered a total of over 4,000 delegates of which the sample of 50 delegates that we have invited to this fair is the first phase of several other planned entrepreneurship fairs for our beneficiaries.”

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