Five members of the Federal House of Representatives from Bayelsa State have traced the incessant cases of civil disobedience and blockages of the East-West road by protesting ex-militants to the vacuum in the office of the Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme since the sack of Professor Charles Quaker Dokubo in February.
According to the Bayelsa Representatives, aside from the civil disobedience by the ex-agitators, the absence of a substantive coordinator for the Amnesty Programme is creating a vacuum that makes it difficult for the programme to be properly managed, meaningfully, transparently and brought to a logical end.
The Bayelsa House of Representative members, made up of Hon. Preye Influence Oseke (Southern Ijaw), Prof. Steve Azaiki (Yenagoa), Hon. Israel Sunny-Goli (Brass), Hon. Fred Azibaupu Obua (Ogbia) and Hon. Agbedi Yeitiemone Fred (Ekeremor), argued that a substantive coordinator should be appointed for the Presidential Amnesty Programme like the present administration did immediately the former head of the anti-graft agency, the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) was suspended and a new one appointed.
Hon. Preye Oseke, who moved a motion on the floor of the House of Representative on behalf of the Bayelsa caucus, noted with concern the alleged double standard being used in the case of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, said: ”the ongoing presidential amnesty programme has, as attested to by critical stakeholders, suffered a huge setback as a consequence of the absence of an acting coordinator, and as such negatively impacted on the security situation in the Niger Delta region.”
He also expressed concern over the noticeable adoption of unlawful means of agitation for the development of the region including subtle militancy, ”a development that is capable of undermining the peace, security, order and good governance thus jeopardizing already gained mileage in institutionalizing unencumbered economy of the nation.”
He called on the leadership of the House Committee on National Security to interface with relevant agencies of government in ensuring that a substantive coordinator for the Presidential Amnesty Programme for the region is urgently appointed, “to douse the rising tension in the region.”
“We urge the National Security adviser to the President and the Chief of Defence Staff, as a matter of national security concern, to advise the president to appoint a coordinator for the presidential amnesty programme for the Niger Delta with a clear mandate to optimally actualize the objectives of the region.