Kingsley Kuku, outgoing Chairman of the Presidential Amnesty Programme for the Niger Delta

Ex-militant leaders from the nine States of the Niger Delta yesterday sent a “Save-Our-Soul” message to President Buhari over the deteriorating living conditions and increasing displacements of over 500 foreign scholarship beneficiaries of Amnesty Programmes by the Federal Government.

According to the Ex-militant leaders, the absence of a substantial Special Adviser and the Chairman of the Presidential Amnesty Programme has thrown the Programme into crises and provoke sufferings among the beneficiaries of the Programme.

The Ex-Militant leaders, under the aegis of the Leadership, Peace and Cultural Development Initiatives (LPCDI), said the preliminary complaints received from the beneficiaries of the Amnesty Programme centered on deplorable living conditions from lack of funding and non-payment of the stipends by the Federal Government.

According to the statement issued by Ex-militant leader, Pastor Reuben Wilson, stated that "we called on the President Buhari to immediately appoint a Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta. This call is sequel to the approval of the number of special advisers by the National Assembly requested by Mr. President and the impending crisis as a result of the vacancy."

"We, therefore, write to implore Mr. President to quickly appoint a credible person as a special adviser to the President on Niger Delta Affairs and Chairman, Presidential Amnesty Programme, which Hon. Kingsley Kuku just vacated. This request is coming on the ground that the absence of the SA/Chairman has hindered the payment of the monthly stipends to the beneficiaries both home and abroad."

"Our brothers and sisters currently schooling abroad on the platform of the Presidential Amnesty Programme are suffering due to lack of funds as they are yet to receive their monthly allowances. There is presently a palpable tension in the Niger Delta region as a result of the non-payment of the monthly stipends for May to the Amnesty beneficiaries."

"It is therefore in the interest of peace and stability in the Niger Delta that this situation be nipped in the bud by a speedy appointment of a credible person into the above office. We enjoin Mr. President to treat this matter with the urgency and seriousness it deserves."

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