The Presidency has approved the decision of the Presidential Amnesty Office under the Interim Administrator, Col. Milland Dixion Dikio to conduct a verification exercise for the 30,000 ex-agitators captured under the programme in the last 11 years.
Already, the Interim Administrator, Dikio has set up a 10-man committee of “Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) Think-Thank” with a mandate to enrich, monitor and propagate the new PAP roadmap of the Amnesty office to reposition and ensure that the new policies are close to the Niger Delta communities.
A member of the Strategic Committee of PAP, Comrade Tonye Bobo, who confirmed the development on Wednesday during a call on members of the Federated Correspondent Chapel of the Nigerian Union of Journalists, Bayelsa State Council, said the verification exercise is not a witch-hunt exercise but a strategic way to verify those that are captured and those still left out of the Amnesty programme.
Bobo said the verification exercise has also received the backing of all the ex-militant leaders in the region.
"It is said that the Amnesty office does not have the capacity to admit new beneficiaries and we agreed with him. Also, who are these 30,000 beneficiaries? For us to know, we have to conduct the verification exercise,” he said.
He also promised that as a member of the new think-thank of the Amnesty office, "the committee will engage every critical stakeholder from the grassroots to the top to offer advice or solution for the affairs of the region.”
Bobo, who is also a beneficiary of the Amnesty programme under the Third Phase, said the new committee set up by Dikio is also saddled with the responsibility of sustaining peace in the region.
“As one of the change-agents of the PAP, I am ready to bring to fore ideas that would help to achieve the desired and anticipated transformation in the region. We commend the Interim Administrator, Col. Milland Dixion Dikio for the new assignment,” he said.