From Tony John, Port Harcourt, Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
PAN-Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) has called on the Interim Administrator, Presidential Amnesty Programme, Col. Milland Dikio (retd), to use his re-appointment to sustain his reforms in PAP.
PANDEF, while commending President Muhammadu Buhari for renewing the appointment, appealed to the president to make Dikio a substantive administrator of the programme following his excellent performance in the last one year.
The forum’s chairman, Emmanuel Essien, in a statement at the weekend, said making Dikio the substantive head would be a treasured gift to people of the region.
Essien reminded Dikio that the president’s benevolence was a reward for a job well done in the last one year.
He advised the amnesty boss to justify the presidential gesture by working hard to surpass his previous achievements, stressing that expectations were high and he could not afford to fail.
He said: “Our expectation in this coming year is that Dikio will continue the sanitisation of the amnesty programme and ensure he returns the programme to its core mandate. We hope to see these mandates are achieved in this administration.
“Dikio is a man of foresight and vision; so we, at PANDEF, believe he will deliver on these expectations.
“While we applaud the president for re-appointing Dikio, we appeal he makes him the substantive administrator because so far, he has performed so well in the capacity given to him. This is our only concern.”
Meanwhile, Leaders of former agitators have declared the re-appointment of Dikio is an indication President Buhari listens and sensitive to the yearnings of the Niger Delta region.
According to the leaders, under the First Phase Ex-agitators Forum, Dikio’s renewed mandate would afford him the opportunity to implement his laudable programmes and policies for PAP.
The former agitators said they were particularly interested in Dikio enforcing the Train, Employ and Mentor (TEM) model, which he designed to transform beneficiaries into entrepreneurs.
A statement by Dikio’s Special Adviser on Media, Nneotaobase Egbe, at the weekend, quoted the leaders as making the remarks when they paid the PAP boss a solidarity visit in his office in Abuja.
Nature Dumale, who led the delegation, said the re- appointment is good for the Federal Government and the Niger Delta region.
“We are here to celebrate with you and also express our gratitude to Mr. President for finding you worthy to complete the reforms and pro- grammes you have set in place that will transform and cause us to become independent.
“Now, we can have more employers of labour and we can now get something more sustainable for us and become more reasonable people in the society.
“We commend Mr. President for giving you another chance to complete the TEM model that you set in motion in your first term to transform PAP delegates.
“As we have said before, that training model is guaranteed to change delegates from being stipend dependent to becoming successful entrepreneurs and employable citizens who will contribute meaningfully to the society,” he said.
Dikio reiterated his commitment to make the Niger Delta the most attractive destination in the country and called for collective efforts to achieve that.
“This second term, if I may call it that way, we have done all the talking, it is action time, by the grace of God. There is no time to waste. We will follow due process to ensure our delegates are equipped to contribute positively to the Niger Delta economy and ultimately, to the national economy,” Dikio said.