Four Ex-Niger Delta militants, who dropped their arms and went back to school through the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) have been employed as lecturers by Benson Idahosa University in Edo State.
The lecturers got the appointment after graduating with First Class honours in their Bachelor degree studies. Their names were given as: Fianka Diamond Tamara (Computer Science), Debrah Ikpaazaere (Business Administration), Odiki Otogo (Political Science and Public Administration) and Lucky Boleidowa (Political Science and Public Administration).
Speaking of PAP’s achievements, Co-ordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) and Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta Affairs, Brig-Gen. Paul Boroh (rtd), disclosed this during at an interactive session with journalists in Abuja.
On the 2015/2016 academic year programme, Boroh said the office deployed 1,294 delegates to various universities in the Nigeria. He said:
“We have recorded 681 graduates with 14 of them graduating with First Class and 84 with Second Class Upper.
“In fact, the Benson Idahosa University retained as lecturers, four of our students who had First Class. The performance of our students abroad was even more stunning. A total of 454 of them graduated mainly from British universities with 20 having First Class and 41, Second Class Upper.”
He also disclosed that the programme has ensured the effective management of its students abroad through the collaboration of the Amnesty Office and our embassies and High Commissions which has led to a remarkable reduction in students agitations.
According to him, the programme has also domesticated most of its education and training programmes in order to ensure sustainability, development of local organisations and conservation of funds and foreign exchange.
“Perhaps the greatest impact we have created in the last one year is the reorientation of beneficiaries to agriculture and aquaculture as an alternative to revamp the ailing economy.
“Presently, we have youths undergoing advanced agriculture technological training in these fields while various state governments in the region have made lands available to us for extensive farming or have promised to do so.
“Our Model Farming Initiative is designed to provide 5,000 sustainable jobs in the region; to key into Mr President’s programme of creating employment and wealth through farming as well as ensuring food security.”
However, Boroh said the amnesty programme’s greatest achievement is most likely its contribution to the maintenance of peace in the Niger Delta which has resulted in zero vandalism of oil facilities.
Boroh said the winning strategy was President Muhammadu Buhari’s hands-on approach to the region. The coordinator noted that the visits of the Vice President to most oil producing states, with the full participation of the state governments and people, is a winning formula. He explained that the visits had solidified the relationship between the region and the present administration.
Boroh said the programme had not only succeeded in helping to stabilize the region, but had also worked in synergy with all government agencies.
The agencies, according to Boroh are, the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Local Content Board, Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), and Ministries such as the Niger Delta Niger Affairs, Agriculture and Environment.
On vocational training, from 2015 to 2016, PAP said it has deployed 1,603 delegates to Training Centres across the country, where 1,230 of them graduated.
According to the coordinator, a total 196 delegates are currently in training, but regrettably, the training of 177 of them is on hold due to logistical reasons.