ODAHIEKWU OGUNDE, Yenagoa
A peace advocacy group, the Movement for Sustainable Development of the Niger Delta (MSDND), has urged President Muhammadu Buhari, and the National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno, to extend the tenure of the Interim Administrator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), Col. Milland Dixon Dikio (rtd.).
The MSDND also urged the Federal Government to confirm Dikio as the substantive Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) to sustain and stabilise the peace being enjoyed across the region.
The group insisted that Dikio was desperately needed now to douse the row by some ex-agitators over the award of N48b pipeline security and surveillance contract to Chief Government Ekpemupolo, alias Tompolo, by the Federal Government through the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
The MSDND, made up of ex-militant leaders, elders, and other stakeholders, contended that the tenure extension and confirmation of Dikio’s appointment would provide the needed motivation to coordinate and interface with ex-militants, PAP beneficiaries, youths, and elders across the region.
The group equally said the development would bridge the gap between the President and the people of the region.
The National Coordinator, MSDND, Chief Ayibatekena Olodin, in an electronic statement, commended the achievements of the PAP under Dikio.
Olodin said there was an imperative need for a proper inter-agency line of communication with the PAP to be established for the crude oil and gas pipeline surveillance contractors across the region to interface, interact and coordinate with ex-militants, youths, and stakeholders in the region.
He said: “The ex-militants, stakeholders, and youths of the region believe that PAP under Col. Milland Dixon Dikio (rtd.) has done exceptionally well in the last two years.
“His expertise is urgently needed in the renewed fight against crude oil theft in order to calm down frayed nerves following the commendable award of the surveillance contract to a former militant leader, Chief Government Ekpemupolo, Tompolo, which will benefit thousands of families across the region and our national economy.”
Olodin noted that since Dikio came on board as PAP’s helmsman, the region had witnessed a paradigm shift in terms of relative peace across the region, change in ex-agitators, ramp in oil production, entrepreneurship, and engagements with stakeholders.