Leaders of former agitators enlisted in the first phase of the Presidential Amnesty Programme met with the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta and coordinator of Amnesty programme, Prof. Charles Dokubo, on Tuesday, to chart a course ahead of the 2019 polls.
In a statement signed by the Special Assistant (Media) to Dokubo, Murphy Ganagana, the special adviser said next year’s presidential election was top on the agenda of the meeting which was held at the instance of the formeragitators in Abuja.
Pastor Reuben Wilson, who led 31 phase one leaders of ex-agitators in the Amnesty Programme to the meeting, said it was to consult with the special adviser for a clear direction on political alignment of the Niger Delta people.
“First of all, we thank you because you have tried and what you have been doing in this programme, especially recognizing the leaders and giving them empowerment. This is something people have not been doing but when you came, you said no, your mission here is to make sure that we succeed in this programme
“We are here to get directive from you; we are here to know where we will dance to and to know your mind. Even though most of us here have been pressured by some groups to dance right or left, but before we take a decision, we have to hear from you,” he said.
Although they noted that they had been abandoned after working to support previous administrations during elections, the former agitators expressed hope that it would be different this time.
In his response, Dokubo described President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration as reliable. He said it is imperative for the people of Niger Delta to be at the mainstream politically, to regain losses occasioned by being at the periphery.
“I want all of us to think deep and fast on what we will benefit if our people do not support this administration and bring back president Buhari; the alternative will be too ghastly to even contemplate.
This programme is on and for me, this government has been so reliable; we just have a little hitch in the releases, but the support of this government for the programme is enormous. Instead of agonizing, let us organize ourselves better in groups, not individually,” he stated.
Dokubo warned them against juicy offers that would be made to secure their support for the 2019 election.
In attendance at the meeting were leaders of Niger Delta ex-agitators from Delta, Bayelsa, Rivers, Abia, Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Imo and Edo states