Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, Prof. Charles Dokubo, says plans were underway for leaders of Niger Delta ex-agitators to be enrolled in leadership training within the country or offshore, for effective coordination of their followers.
He stated this on Monday in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, at a meeting with 170 leaders of ex-agitators enlisted in Phase Three of the Amnesty Programme, just as he urged them to set aside violence and work in harmony to deepen peace in the Niger Delta region towards enhancing development.
Dokubo noted that leadership training for leaders of the ex-agitators was necessary to equip them with knowledge and skills on how to manage their followers and possibly empower them to undertake entrepreneurship initiatives that would positively impact on the Niger Delta.
“I have thought about leadership training and there was a time they sent people to South Africa. I told the Phase Two leaders I met here (Uyo), that we will design a programme for leadership training. If you don’t have training, how can you lead your people? It is not about stipends, it how you can acquire knowledge. This knowledge will not be confined to Amnesty, you can also get somewhere. So, training is very essential; I will create a programme where leaders will go. I will get a list of all the leaders so that we can send them for training in batches. We can’t send all at the same time. It is for your own strength and leadership.”
The Amnesty boss expressed dismay at the confrontational approach and protests by ex-agitators in seeking attention to issues bothering them rather than availing themselves of the official platforms in channelling complaints, emphasizing his vision and objective.
“There are ways of addressing issues. Amnesty means that you have given up violence and you have adopted a peace-making process to resolve issues that afflict our people. That’s what it is. So, somebody who has laid down his arms should not even resort to conflict again because you have accepted the rule of the Federal Government. So please, let us know how to get what you want to pursue from this programme; let us set aside violence. My goal here is to bring peace and also enhance human capital development.”
Dokubo urged leaders of ex-agitators in Phase Three of the Amnesty Programme to put their house in order and present their complaints officially in an organized manner rather than travelling in large numbers to the Amnesty office in Abuja without invitation or prior notice and thereafter make unrealistic monetary demands for logistics.
“Please, any issue that you want to talk about, delegate two or three persons to come and meet me. Any day they come, I will open my doors for them. But if you come there without my notice and you expect me to pay your transport, no government in this world can do that. We must be realistic. You might not like it, but that is the way things are done. I want you to understand the due process stance of the present administration. What I am saying is that we must do things the right way.”