As part of efforts to reduce crime and criminality in the Niger Delta region, the Governor of Bayelsa State, Senator Douye Diri, called on the federal government to review the disarmament and demobilization phase of the presidential amnesty program (PAP), deploring the proliferation of small arms in the region.
The governor also assured that the governors of the Niger Delta region would support the new vision of the Interim Program Administrator (PAP), Colonel Milland Dixon Dikio (Rtd).
Diri, who spoke when Dikio visited him at Government House, Yenagoa, as part of his tour of the Niger Delta, advised the administrator to explore a different approach to appointing officers from liaison in all states in the region to work with the government. of each state.
He asked the amnesty office to provide his government with a list of former Bayelsa agitators who have been trained and those who have not yet been trained under the program.
Insisting that PAP make more progress when working in synergy with state governments in the region, Diri commended Dikio for seeking their cooperation and urged him to create a functional regional office preferably in Bayelsa.
The governor also warned against the incessant protests of the ex-agitators of the Niger Delta against the program denouncing the looting of the Kaiama training center by aggrieved people.
Speaking to Dikio, the governor said: “We are sure of your pedigree and what we have heard from you, you will not disappoint us. God has brought you divinely to perform this program. Thanks to your rich experience, I believe that you will maintain the gains, particularly in the area of peace.
“I am aware that this program is at its very important stage, which is reintegration, but it is even doubtful that we have completed the disarmament and demobilization phase. Indeed, the prevalence of small arms in the region is still very alarming. We need to clean up small arms and light weapons in the region.
“I believe you have studied your memories and this tour that you have embarked on is good because it will allow you to see things for yourself. Appoint liaison officers to work with state governments so you can do things differently.
“We do not have data on the number of former Bayelsa agitators in the PAP. Please, we need this data. Provide us with the names of the beneficiaries. Total number of our ex-agitators trained to date and number of those who have benefited from your scholarship. Set up a functional zonal office and if I want to be sentimental in Yenagoa ”.
The governor added: “This is not the time to play politics or politicize the PAP. If we do, it will affect us all. Don’t let anyone fool you that because we are all PDP governors of the region, we will not be working with you. We will work with you. For me, I am always ready to support you and work for you to be successful.
“Senator Diri condemned the penchant for blocking the east-west route at the slightest provocation. It’s not every time you protest and block the road. Are we helping each other? People went to loot and vandalize Kaiama camp, is that part of the struggle? It is a disgrace for Isaac Boro, our hero. Let that spirit leave us. We must be positive in terms of development and I therefore call on our ex-agitators to be good ambassadors for our region.
“Collar. Dikio came with a new spirit. I believe the Kaiama training center will come back to life. I congratulate you on your appointment and urge you not to give in. Constant engagement and dialogue are needed. You already know the challenges we face ”.
Earlier in his remarks, Dikio said he was on a mission to return the program to the region, adding that his team have the ability to change the narratives.
He said: “We are here in Bayelsa because of the ‘back to the region’ tour. We met some key stakeholders and also hosted a summit to discuss the future of PAP.
“I’m here primarily to sell a new vision, a vision that we can paradigm shift.
A toxic environment is antithetical to development. Even if we are right, we should not shoot ourselves in the foot. We need to have a more entrepreneurial approach to our problems. I am convinced that where there is hope, there is a bright future ”.