DELAY PAYMENT OF EX-MILITANTS’ STIPENDS, A TIME BOMB – AKPODORO
An ex-militant leader, Eshanekpe Israel, a.k.a Akpodoro, has described the deliberate delay by the office of the Special Adviser to the president on Amnesty and coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, Prof Charles Dokubo, to pay the mandatory stipend due to ex-militants as a time bomb that could explode any moment if required attention is not given.
Akpodoro, who is the national president of the National Coalition of Niger Delta Ex-Agitators, NCNDE-A, stated this in Abuja on Thursday, noted that there was no reason why the federal government should owe ex-militants their monthly stipends, adding that the federal government should not take the patience and understanding being displayed by the former warlords for granted.
According to the Urhobo – born youth leader, the current administration finds it as a point of duty to pay security agents their salaries promptly while that of ex-militants were being deliberately delayed without recourse to the fact that most of the ex-militants are solely dependent on the stipends, wondering why payment of the former warriors was not on the first line charge of the president.
Akpodoro called on the National Security Adviser, NSA, Babagana Monguno, to take the issues of security of the Niger Delta region more serious than he was doing as it concerns the prompt payment of beneficiaries of the Amnesty Programme.
Akpodoro, who doubles as the National Coordinator of Urhobo Youth Forum for Change, UYFC, added that nothing stops the federal government from paying beneficiaries on 25th of every month noting that delay in payment was not good for the wellbeing of the ex-militants.
It will be recalled that the Amnesty office as at the time of filling this report was owing beneficiaries of the programme months of arrears with no hope in view for payment and Incidentally most youths who have received this payment in the past have their domestic economy dependent on it.