Sunday, 12 July 2015

Buhari’s slow pace, mockery to ‘change’ – Ex-militants

Scores of former members of the militia group, Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, have urged President Muhammadu Buhari to formulate policies to tackle the rising security and economic challenges in the country.
They also urged the President to pay stipends meant for ex-agitators under the Presidential Amnesty Programme, saying such development would engender peace and security in the region. These positions were contained in a communique issued after a meeting in Yenagoa on Saturday where they reviewed the activities of the one month-old administration of President Buhari.
The ex-militants said during the meeting, they deliberated on issues bordering on the new wave of attacks in the North, economy and the unpaid stipends and allowances of Amnesty beneficiaries, among others.
The communique, signed by Reuben Clifford, President, Leadership, Peace and Cultural Development Initiative, read in part, “We vehemently condemn the recent spate of attacks in Plateau, Kano, Kaduna and Borno States where over hundred of innocent persons were killed in their prime by the Boko Haram sect.
“We urge Mr. President, Muhammadu Buhari, to have a rethink on the dismantling of check-points across hotbeds of Northern parts of  Nigeria with the aim of quelling  the horrendous act being perpetrated by  the evil butchers, known as Boko Haram.
“That we are dismayed by the slow pace of this present  administration in tackling the economic challenges by constituting a formidable team made up of technocrats to run the affairs of  the nation. This is because the President’s slow attitude  is making mockery  of  the ‘change’ slogan he and his party canvassed  for during electioneering.”
The ex-agitators said they were  daily inundated with calls, home and abroad, from members who are Amnesty beneficiaries  passing through various harrowing experiences at schools.
They said while some beneficiariies at Igbinedion  University, Okada, were on the verge of being barred from writing their final year examinations since they could not pay their fees, others in Jordan schooling had been totally evicted from their  homes.
They added, “We also commend Mr. President on the recent bailout to the states owing workers salaries. We are asking that the President should extend the same gesture to the Amnesty benefiarcies home and abroad studying in one university or another.
“The Amnesty beneficiaries are being threatened by community police abroad since they could not pay their house rent or  school fees.
“That we urge President Muhammadu Buhari to give directives to someone to sign for the disbursement of fund at the Amnesty Office because we have a reliable information that over N5bn  is in its coffer left by Kingsley Kuku to  offset allowances of amnesty beneficiaries   before Nigerians start bearing bad names abroad.
“As it is now, the  situation is getting worse and if nothing is done soon, it could snowball into a full scale crisis.  Please, His Excellency,  save us from this excruciating  agony.”
They urged the President to engage various stakeholders  to put an end to the callous, ruthless  and senseless killings of innocent souls by Boko Haram insurgents.

HENRY E. J Williams

Author & Editor

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