Minister of Niger Delta Affairs (MNDA), Umana Umana is seeking a closer ties with the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) to ensure that they both continue to work with various institutions to address the issue of oil theft, pipeline vandalization and sustain peace in the region.
Umana made this assertion on Thursday when the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), Interim Administrator, Col. Dixon Dikio (Rtd), paid him a courtesy visit in Abuja.
The Minister lauded Dikio for his strategic role in bringing combatants militants out and procuring peace and stability in the region, adding that he believes that the retired colonel still has a role to play in tackling the problem of oil theft in the region.
He therefore called on all stakeholders to forge partnership in addressing, the burning issues confronting the Niger Delta region and to end those vices destroying our aquatic lives.
Umana further assured the Amnesty boss that effort was being made by the Federal Government to hand over the skill acquisition center at Agadagba to Ondo State Government, noting that the Centre would be of immense benefit to PAP and Nigeria at large.
Earlier in his address, Interim Administrator, PAP, Col. Dixon Milland Dikio (Rtd), explained that the programme by former President, Late Musa Yar’adu was a soft approach towards addressing issues affecting the Niger Delta region. It was designed to disarm, demobilize and reintegrate ex-agitators.
According to a statement by the Director of Press and Public Relations, Deworitshe Patricia, he noted that the visit was to explore area of support and assistance from the Ministry, establish vertical and horizontal relationship to ameliorate the problems of the region.
According to Col. Dikio, the programme as it relates to peace in the Niger Delta region is infrastructural development.
“So, we believe that, if we are not in sync with what MNDA and NDDC is doing, we would just be doing a temporary fix, on our side we have decided that we would focus on our core functions which is manpower development.
“Building on the vision of PAP would require that we set up a committee of Chief Executives of the Ministry, NDDC, and PAP to regularly review with the stakeholders the challenges and progress made so far and plan on future development in the region.
“This would build a lot more synergy so that we would not be working at cross purpose but we will be on the same page in driving Federal Government message in the region.
“Our focus should be reorienting the younger age group from age 12 to build bridges and alliances, having a project plan of how to stem drift from pity crimes, gangsterism and militancy.
“There should be a transition of PAP from the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration programme to what we called Niger Delta Stabilization Programme (NDSP)”, he stated.