Some concerned leaders of the Niger Delta region have urged President Muhammadu Buhari not to toy with the funding of the Presidential Amnesty Programme in the interest of peace and security in the region.
The leaders made their position known in a communiqué at the end of a stakeholders’ meeting held in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, on Sunday. The meeting was attended by monarchs and youth leaders from the region.
In the communique which was signed by Chief Mike Loyibo and Prof. Benjamin Okaba, the Niger Delta leaders contended that the peace being witnessed in the region was as a result of the amnesty programme.
The leaders also urged the President to address some of the issues raised concerning the development of the region during their last meeting with him.
They said, “We also want to use this medium to remind President Muhammad Buhari to address our issues raised concerning the Niger Delta during our last meeting with him as only the Maritime University has been addressed.
“President Buhari should also know that funding of the amnesty programme is the key towards ensuring the prevailing peace being witnessed in the region, hence this should be upheld.
“We also want the boys in the creeks to be patient with President Buhari by continuing to give peace a chance for the overall development of the region.”
The leaders also solicited support for the Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, Prof. Charles Dokubo, appealing to the people of the region to rally round him for the success of the programme.
They commended President Buhari for Dokubo’s appointment, describing the amnesty boss as “a round peg in a round hole.”
They warned against any form of ‘Pull-him-down-syndrome’ against Prof. Dokubo, saying that since he assumed office, the steps he had so far taken to advance the course of the programme had been satisfactory to leaders and people of the region.
“From the measures he (Dokubo) has embarked on so far, we believe he has the desire to advance the goals and objectives of the programme as well as taking it to the next level. So, we are solidly behind him and we hereby pass a vote of confidence on him,” the leaders said.