Akwa Ibom ex-militants seek probe of Amnesty programme

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Ex-militants in Akwa Ibom have demanded immediate probe of the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), alleging massive corruption and marginalisation in the scheme.

In a statement on by Akwa Ibom Ex-militants Forum signed by it’s secretary, Comrade Sunny Afiah and made available to our Correspondent in Uyo, the group lamented that they have not been paid their monthly stipends for several years.

They said that despite a Uyo High Court judgement which mandated that they should be paid, the PAP office has continued to withhold their stipends and in some instances have removed their names from the programme.

The ex-agitators also alleged that they have not benefited from any PAP vocational educational training and empowerment scheme.

The statement reads in parts, “The beneficiaries from Akwa Ibom State have been singled out to suffer untold marginalization ranging from diversion of their monthly stipends, outright stoppage of monthly stipends without reason, substitution of authentic beneficiaries with unknown individuals.

“None of us from the state has benefited from education or vocational training or empowerment. It is therefore pertinent to state that the injustices against us have reached its peak and we can no longer accept it.

“Permit us to state here that one of the camps in Akwa Ibom State, Niger Delta Liberation Movement has been owed seven months stipends arrears to 20 beneficiaries since 2014 by the presidential amnesty office.

“We have made several efforts to but they ignored despite the Uyo High Court Judgment mandating presidential amnesty office to pay.

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“In another instance, the presidential amnesty office stopped the payment of monthly stipends of twenty-two (22) beneficiaries of Ukanafun Freedom Fighters since 2010, few months after enrolment and payment, several efforts has been made to ensure that payment is made but to no avail.

“It is unfortunate to state here that the aim for which the Presidential Amnesty Programme was set up is about to be defeated as a result of discrimination, marginalization, fraud and bias in the system.

“We therefore call on the office of the National Security Adviser to the President, the Senate President – Chief (Dr.) Godswill Akpabio, the Chairman – Senate Committee on Niger Delta, the Chairman – House of Representative Committee on Niger Delta, the Executive Governor of Akwa Ibom State, EFCC, ICPC and other relevant authorities to conduct proper investigation into the activities of the Presidential Amnesty Office in relation to the dealings with beneficiaries from Akwa Ibom”.

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