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Amnesty Programme Objective Not Achieved, Don’t Shelve It, Diri Tells FG ….Ex-Militants Protest Over PAP

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Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has appealed to Nigerian government to jettison any plan to end the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), saying that the programme was yet to achieve its objectives.
Diri insisted that PAP is yet to achieve its mandate, saying even the disarmament phase of the scheme has not been fully realised as arms and ammunition are still in the wrong hands in the Niger Delta.
The governor, who spoke when he received the Interim Administrator, PAP, Maj.-Gen. Barry Ndiomu (rtd), in Government House, Yenagoa, warned that any attempt to shut down the programme would plunge the region into another round of unrest.
He said: “The amnesty programme has three legs. The first is disarmament, a process, said to be completed; then the demobilisation leg and finally, the reintegration leg. On the issue of disarmament, can we completely convince ourselves that we have been able to completely disarm the Niger Delta of armaments in our region?
“So, while we are in the final stage of reintegration, you and I know that within our Niger Delta, we still have very many arms, non-state actors are in possession of arms, well that has been said to be completed but I like to state clearly here that the process is not 100per cent completed.
“Now, I will like to look more on the issue of reintegration. The reintegration is more like a continuous process of building human capacity and for you to continue to build human capacity, it follows that the amnesty programme must be on, and I’m happy while listening to you that you have already taken that up.
“It will be wrong for anybody at this point to bring the amnesty programme to a close. That will amount to being insensitive to what is going on in the region.”
While acknowledging that the Federal Government has soft-pedalled in its decision to shut down the programme, Diri said the best gift the government could give to the Niger Delta people is to allow the continuity of PAP.
The governor urged Ndiomu to deal with the challenges in the programme and write his name in gold, insisting that the problems are huge enough to contemplate closing the scheme.
“Let me use this opportunity of your courtesy call to call on the FG that the best thing and the best gift to the Niger Delta is to continue to support and keep the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) going.
“As you have rightly stated, yes, there are challenges, but then the amnesty programme has also recorded some degree of successes. Those challenges are the reasons our people keep coming and going. So, for me at every given opportunity, it is a time to write your name in gold and indeed, writing the name of your state, Bayelsa, in gold.
“If you have come and found certain challenges, we know you have the capacity to confront those challenges. Whatever you can do to ensure that the amnesty programme will continue to exist, please do them and let our people be the final beneficiaries of this programme,” Diri said.
The governor called on Ndiomu to avoid the temptation of politicising the amnesty office, saying that before the birth of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the people were one and the same.
He said: “I’ve always reminded us that before APC and PDP, we were one and the same people. Those, who sacrificed their lives, like Boro did, didn’t do that for political reasons and therefore, I’ll like to call on you not to politicize the amnesty programme”.
Diri observed that Ndiomu was the third person from Bayelsa to man the amnesty office, and appealed to him to carry the state along in all his activities to avoid regrets.
He frowned at the domiciling of the amnesty programme in Abuja and said his administration had donated a parcel of land to erect a befitting office for the scheme and bring it home.
“The amnesty programme as it operates today is more of Abuja. It’s almost an alien programme to our people, except people who will visit your offices in Abuja and I’ll like to call on you to ensure that the headquarters of the amnesty programme is sited in Yenagoa, Bayelsa state. To this end, the state government has already donated a parcel of land for that purpose,” he said.
Diri called for collaboration among the state government, the amnesty programme and the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to avoid duplication of projects and programmes.
On the ongoing clean-up of Ogoni, the governor noticed the snail-paced movement of the programme, and reminded the Federal Government that many areas of the Niger Delta needed remediation.
He said: “We have also been agitating that the clean-up in Niger Delta shouldn’t be for Ogoni alone. We all know that the whole environment of the Niger Delta has been polluted.
“Bayelsa is not an exception, so remedying our environment should be one of the key responsibilities that PAP should also look into in partnership with other ministries and agencies of government.”
On his part, Ndiomu solicited the support of the Bayelsa government for his administration.
He said that he was poised to reform the amnesty programme to make it more impactful to the beneficiaries and results oriented.
Meanwhile, travellers and motorists were stranded, last Friday at the East-West Road as ex-Niger Delta agitators from the three phases of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, barricaded the Mbiama Bridge at the Ahoada West axis of Rivers State and Bayelsa State axis of the road for several hours.
The ex-agitators were protesting the alleged delisting of about 7,000 beneficiaries from the data base of the Presidential Amnesty programme by the Interim Administrator, Major General Barry Ndiomu (rtd).
They accused the interim administrator of the Presidential Amnesty office of trying to cause unrest in the Niger Delta region, which had experienced relative peace since the inception of the programme.
They called on President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately intervene by reinstating their delisted members.
The Bayelsa State Chairman of Phases One Ex-agitators, Mr. Ebitei Ifiemi also known as General Bull, said that the interim administrator should hold a town hall meeting to address the issue with leaders or risk another round of unrest in the Niger Delta.

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PSC Appoints Three DIGs, Suspends Promotion Of Eight CPs, 11 DCPs

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The Police Service Commission has approved the appointment of three Assistant Inspectors General of Police, Hafiz Inuwa, Aji Janga, and Adeleke Bode, to the rank of Deputy Inspectors General of Police.
The new DIGs are expected to fill the vacant duty posts created due to the retirements of three DIGs representing the North-Central, North-East and the North-West geopolitical zones.
The Spokesperson for the PSC, Ikechukwu Ani, revealed this in a statement, yesterday.
The PSC noted that the approval of the appointments of the new DIGs had also ensured that the defined succession policy in the Nigerian police is sustained.
The Force Secretary, Hafiz Inuwa, will be replacing retired DIG Mustapha Dan-Daura for the North-West slot. Dan- Daura retired on January 15 this year.
Aji Janga from the North-East will replace DIG Zanna Ibrahim who retired on November 26, 2022, while Adeleke Bode of North-Central will replace DIG Sanusi Lemu who retired on January 31 this year.
The new appointments were part of the decisions of the reconvened 18th plenary of the commission which held in Abuja, last week and chaired by the acting chairperson of the PSC, Justice Clara Ogunbiyi.
Meanwhile, the commission has suspended the promotion of eight Commissioners of Police to the rank of Assistant Inspectors General and 11 Deputy Commissioners of Police to the next rank of Commissioners due to their failure to appear before it for the mandatory promotion interview.
Ani said, “The PSC had sent invitations to the officers to appear before it for the usual interaction to ascertain their suitability and capability for the new offices.
“The commission expressed surprise on their failure to honour the invitation especially as the 2023 general election is just days away.”
The commission also approved the promotion of 10 Assistant Commissioners of Police to the next rank of Deputy Commissioners; 17 Chief Superintendents of Police to Assistant Commissioners and 301 Superintendents of Police to Chief Superintendents.
Meanwhile, 47 skipped Deputy Superintendents of Police from previous recommendations to the commission were also promoted to Superintendents of Police while 665 Assistant Superintendents of Police were promoted to Deputy Superintendents of Police.
The recommendations for ACP Nwamanna Nelson, SP Iliyas Casmir and SP Alheri Mamman were also endorsed and the officers promoted to their next ranks after they were absolved of any pending disciplinary matter.
Justice Ogunbiyi congratulated and wished the officers success, while charging the newly-promoted officers to give their best to the service of the nation especially now that Nigeria will be going to the polls to elect new leaders.

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RSU Commences Academic Activities In Satellite Campuses

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The Rivers State University, Nkpolu-Oroworukwo, Port Harcourt, has commenced academic activities for the 2022/2023 session in her satellite campuses at Emohua, Etche, Ahoada and Sakpenwa.
The Vice-Chancellor of the University, Prof. Nlerum Okogbule, DSSRS, disclosed this when he led other Principal Officers of the University, Head of Etche Campus and Dean, Faculty of Agriculture on a courtesy visit to the Paramount Ruler of Abara, Etche, last Wednesday, as part of assessment tour of the various campuses.
Speaking at the palace of the Paramount Ruler, the Vice-Chancellor expressed appreciation to the Ochimba and his Council of Chiefs and the entire community for the support given to the university which, according to him, contributed to the speedy completion of the various structures at the Etche campus.
He said that the satellite campuses had commenced studies with the year one students for the 2022/2023 session, expressing optimism that more accommodation for staff and students will be provided by the university within the year.
He appealed for more support from the community, stating that the Etche campus is a replica of a full fledgef university, which all over the world, is a centre of development.
He explained that the presence of the campus would stimulate economic activities and assist in the development of the host community and neigbouring communities.
He assured the leaders of the community that the iniversity would continue to maintain its corporate social responsibility with her host community.
Responding, the Paramount Ruler and Ochimba of Abara Etche, Eze Jonah Nwala, thanked the Rivers State Government for completing the project and the take-off of academic activities at the Etche Campus of the university.
The paramount ruler said that what the State Government has done for the people of Abara Etche is beyond providing a school, explaining that the campus is an industry which has started impacting on all sectors of the economy within the community.
While appreciating the management of the university for ensuring the take-off of studies, he assured the university of the community’s continuous support for the sustenance of the Etche campus.

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2023: Wike Enjoins Military To Be Apolitical

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Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, has advised officers and men of the 6 Division of the Nigerian Army in Port Harcourt to be apolitical throughout the 2023 general election.
The governor stressed that in the interest of the country’s democratisation process, the military must adhere to President Muhammadu Buhari, Chief of Defence Staff and Chief of Army’s commitment not to interfere in the 2023 general election.
He stated this during the 6 Division West African Social Activities (WASA) 2022, that held in Port Harcourt over the weekend.
Governor Wike, who was the special guest of honour at the occasion, was represented by the Chief of Staff, Government House, Port Harcourt, Chief Emeka Woke.
The governor, who commended the military for its active role in fighting crime in the State, urged officers and men of the 6 Division to work assiduously with personnel of other security to provide level playing for all political parties and politicians in the State.
“We want to thank you for the relationship we have enjoyed. You have also contributed a lot in terms of crime fighting. But as you are aware, we are now in election season. It is on public notice that Mr President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces (Muhammadu Buhari) has said at different forums that he will not interfere in the forthcoming election.
“And that he will ensure a free and fair election. The Chief of Defence staff has also said at different forums that the military will be apolitical and they will not interfere in the general election. I want to believe that men and officers of this 6 division will follow suit.
“I want to believe they will follow the position of Mr President, Chief of Defence Staff and Chief of Army Staff not to interfere in politics. I am saying this because of the ugly experience the people who live and do business in Rivers State had during the last election.”
Governor Wike, in a statement by his Special Assistant on Media, Kelvin Ebiri, recalled how the Nigerian Army Bori Camp barracks, which is the headquarters of the 6 Division in Port Harcourt, was practically converted to a collation centre during the 2019 governorship election.
He expressed dismay that the military allowed itself to be used to interfere in what ordinarily ought to be a civil exercise.
The governor, however, said that with the level of discipline and focus that the present officers of the 6 Division have shown and exhibited, he is hopeful there would not be a re-enactment of the despicable incidences of 2019 general election.
“Allow the citizens of Rivers state to exercise their civil responsibility in an atmosphere of free and fair election. Work with other security agencies to provide level playing field for politicians”, he said.
He congratulated the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Faruq Yahaya; the General Officer Commanding, Major General O.O Oluyede, and the personnel of the 6 Division for a successful completion of the training year 2022 and the beginning of a new year, 2023.
Governor Wike extolled the GOC 6 for efforts put in place since his assumption of office to fight all forms of criminality especially in areas of crude oil theft and kidnapping in his area of responsibility.
He said, “Your effort has brought about maintenance of peace in the region. I want to congratulate you and the entire personnel of 6 Division for a job well done and also urge you not to relent in your efforts.
“Let me use this opportunity to solicit for support of all stakeholders to join hands with the 6 Division to eradicate criminalities in our society.”
In his remarks, the GOC 6 Division, Major General O.O Oluyede, who was represented by Brig. General A.A Idris, explained that West African Social Activities (WASA) is customary in the Nigerian Army to mark the end of each training year as well as ushering Nigerian Army into the new year.
Highlight of the event was presentation of awards to some personnel of the Nigerian Army who distinguished themselves in the previous year.

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