Amnesty Programme In Danger Over Non-Appointment Of Chairman – Clark

EDWIN-CLARKIjaw national leader, Chief Edwin Clark, has said N5.3bn is still with the Amnesty Programme Office.
He, therefore, called on President Muhammadu Buhari to urgently appoint someone into the office for the management of the fund.
The former Federal Commissioner for Information, who made this known while speaking to journalists in Abuja Thursday, said non-appointment of a substantive chairman for the Presidential Amnesty Programme after the tenure of Kingsley Kuku expired when ex-President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration ended on May 29, 2015 was causing ripples in the Niger Delta region.
Already, he said several delegates from the region have made presentations to him on the issue, but that he had appealed to them to remain calm and continue to maintain the peace.
He said it would be wrong to leave the amnesty programme without a leadership.
The Ijaw leader said as of now, he needed to bring to the attention of the President of what he described as the “imminent danger facing the amnesty programme” if nothing urgent is done.
Clark, who said that though the region supported Jonathan during the March 28 presidential election, warned that it would be wrong not to carry the region along in the scheme of things by the Buhari administration.
He said, “I wish to bring to the attention of Mr. President the imminent danger facing the amnesty programme.
“The former Chairman of Amnesty Programme and Adviser to Mr. President on Niger Delta Affairs, Kingley Kuku, has since vacated his office as a result of change of government, but unfortunately, he has not been replaced by an appointee even in acting capacity by Mr. President, and as a result, the whole programme for now is without leadership, and no one has the authority to operate the account of the Amnesty programme.
“I have received series of delegates from our people on the same matter and I have appealed to them to remain calm and continue to maintain the peace”.
Notwithstanding, he said there had been series of demonstration by youths and mothers as a result of dismissal of 13 ex-militant youths being trained as pilots by the Lufthansa Airlines Training School in Frankfurt, Germany.
The trainees, he added, claimed that they were being deprived of their training and sent packing by their various institutions in South Africa, Russia, Ukraine and other countries in Europe, due to the failure of the Federal Government to pay the Amnesty Training Fees and scholarship grants.
The elder statesman noted that it was unfortunate that this happened, not because of lack of fund, but because of who to disburse it.
He said, “From my investigation, I’m reliably informed that lack of funds is not the problem, but the authority to operate the account.
“I’m also reliably informed that there is an amount of N5.3bn left for the execution of the Amnesty programme”.
Clark stressed the importance of peace in the oil rich Niger Delta region to the country’s economy.

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