An exmillant leader and former Commamder of the Bakassi Freedom Fighters (BFF), ‘General’ Franklin Duduku, has commended the Interim Administrator, Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), Col. Milland Dixion Dikio (retd) for prompt payment of the monthly stipends of ex-agitators.
Speaking in Calabar, Cross River State, Franklin said the timely payment of the stipends was one of the positive steps taken by Dikio to stabilise the Niger Delta region and sustain the peace in the area.
He said before the current amnesty boss came on board, ex-agitators were used to blocking the major roads in the region including sections of the East-West Road for series of protests before the amnesty office would release their stipends.
He recalled that in most cases, the amnesty office owed ex-agitators arrears of unpaid stipends provoking avoidable disturbances and unrestiveness among the youths in the region.
But he said such ugly narrative changed because Dikio lived up to his promise to pay ex-agitators their stipends on the 25th of every month.
He said: “This current amnesty boss has proved to be a performer and a keeper of promises. This is the best deal the ex-agitators have had since the creation of the program.
“I always recall with nostalgia how we used to engage in endless protests, blocking major roads including the ever-busy East-West road before the amnesty office released our stipends.
“In most cases the stipends were owed for many months before payments trickled down to us. Such development caused unrest in the region and threatened the fragile peace in the Niger Delta.
“But this ugly narrative changed immediately Dikio took charge of the amnesty programme. He promised that he would pay ex-agitators on the 25th of every month and he has kept to that promise.
“This month, the 25th fell on a Saturday, but the next Monday, all ex-agitators received alerts in their various bank accounts. This is commendable”.
Franklin hailed the various stakeholders’ engagements Dikio had continued to hold with owners of Presidential Amnesty Program (PAP) in his efforts to return the programme to the Niger Delta region.
“All stakeholders now have a sense of belonging because of series of stakeholders’ engagements embarked upon by Dikio in his back to the Niger Delta region’s tours.
“We are also particularly impressed by the reforms introduced in the amnesty office by Dikio. We are glad that he mustered the courage to cleanse the office of the augean stable that had brought the programme down to its knees.
“We are calling on all stakeholders including the ex-agitators to support the efforts of Dikio to reposition PAP for optimum performance”, he said.