Leaders of ex-agitators enlisted in the first phase of the Presidential Amnesty Programme met on Tuesday with the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta, Prof. Charles Dokubo, to chart a course ahead of the 2019 polls.
The forthcoming presidential election was top on the agenda of the meeting which was held at the instance of the ex-agitators at Casa De Lucy Hotel 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 Dokubo 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 recognising the leaders and giving them empowerment. This is something people have not been doing.
“Let me from this point explain why we said we needed this meeting with you. This is an hour of politics; people are moving from one political party to another.
Presidential aspirants are meeting people every day and night but we the committed leaders of the Amnesty Programme, had not have a say.
The reason being that we have a leader who is the head of this programme, and the leader is no other person than you sir.
“We are here to get directive from you, to know your mind and where we will dance to. We are here to get everything about this forthcoming election so that the leaders under this programme will know what to do”.
While noting that they had been abandoned after working to support previous administrations during elections, they expressed hope that it would be different this time.
In a statement released in Abuja Wednesday by the Special Assistant (Media) to Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta and Coordinator, Amnesty Programme, Mr. Murphy Ganagana, he said “in his response, Dokubo described President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration as reliable.
He said it was imperative for the people of Niger Delta to be at the mainstream politically, to regain loses 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. I want the Niger Delta to be in the mainstream of this government.
“I am now making a political plea because you said you want to know where you can lean or move. I was appointed by this government. I will fight hard for this administration.
As you go home to you camps, let us do all that it takes to return this government so that our areas can be at the centre and benefit from it. It is the only way to sustain this programme”.
Dokubo warned them against juicy offers that would be made to secure their support for the 2019 election.
“They can tell you all sorts and promise you heaven on earth but let us be focused and move this programme to higher heights and achieve all that we have set for ourselves and make the Niger Delta great again. I will not fail you, but be wise”, he admonished.
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.