Young Niger Deltan makes breakthrough in agriculture, engages Ex-militants on mechanised vegetable production

The chief executive officer of Afritropic farms and agro service, Ebimoboere Eniyekpemi, has commended the federal government over the continuous training given to former militants in the Niger Delta region.

Eniyekpemi also congratulated the new Presidential amnesty boss, Professor Charles Dokubo over his new appointment, describing him as a man who has a good heart for the amnesty office.

According to her, Professor Charles Dokubo is putting everything in place to make the amnesty office a great one, saying everything is being done in the right way, thereby making the office better and great.

She spoke when a group of journalists visited her farm where she is presently training 16 Ex-militants from under the auspices of the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP).

Eniyekpemi, told journalists that the federal government programme which was introduced in the past administration is doing well as the programme has trained many of the Ex-militants and equipped them for better living.

Eniyekpemi who is also the Niger Delta coordinator of America West Africa Agro Ltd which is the major contractor in the training project, explained that the training will last for three months where the E-militants will be exposed to the nitty gritty of mechanized vegetable farming where they could make a good living for themselves at the end of the programme.

Speaking at the demonstration farm site in Utagba-Unor Community, Ndokwa west local government area, Delta state, she said the training is all about short term crops, especially vegetables, that could sustain them as a life business venture, noting that with the acquisition of skills, the former agitators would acquire entrepreneurial abilities that would aid them in life thereby bringing peace to the volatile region.

She said:  “As Niger Delta Ex-Agitators, they need to be trained to have peace in the environment and also make a living for themselves having left militancy. There is good soil for you, there is a good environment. Keep calm, use your environment, use your good soil and produce something for yourself.” She added that the soil will always remain, but the oil will finish one day.

She said the entire programme is for three months as it includes training and empowerment, noting that the programme is sponsored by the Presidential Amnesty programme.

Although most Ex-militants have the orientation of making quick money and living large, she said the programme is aimed at disabusing their minds and making them focus on earning a living through farming with the best modern farming equipment which will be provided for them after the training.

She said the trainees will get mechanized farming tools, they will get starter packs that will help them go back home and set up their own farms, adding: “We will assist them in the best way possible.”

Eniyekpemi advised the trainees to keep focus on what brought them to the farm, calling on them to restrain from making trouble but remain responsible citizens of the Nigerian state, noting that such good behavior would assist them successfully complete the programme.

She said the programme is also aimed at erasing the quick money drive from them saying: “We try to remove the orientation they have and make them feel that this is better than what they are used to. They are going to embrace it. I have seen it. They are ready for it.”

She told journalists that Afritropic farms has farms all over Nigeria, especially in Northern Nigeria, adding that the farm has partners outside the country who are adding their knowledge and modern farming techniques to grow the farm.

However, some of the ex-militants, though complained of certain unfulfilled promises of the federal government, they commended the government for the training as it would help them live decent lives in society.

One of the Ex-militants noted that the federal government promised them a lot of things but the promises have remained unfulfilled.

He said: “When we went to Obobra to do this training, like me, I do mechanical fitting engineering. I’m an engineer. I’m not into agric but surprisingly my name came out in agric. But the agreement I entered with the federal government was not agriculture.

“They said after my training, they will give me a job and they asked what kind of job do I like to do, I told them I will like to work with Agip. I do mechanical fitting engineering. I’m a confirmed engineer. But today, I see myself doing agric.”

He lamented that so many of their colleagues have been trained but no empowerment as promised by the federal government.

According to him: “There are so many of our brothers who have been trained for long, five, six months, or even a year, nothing like empowerment. After the training, they dumped them outside. When the government officials are called, they don’t pick calls again.

“They keep them outside suffering. Even to get the stipend from the amnesty office is a problem. Before you get the pay maybe three or four months. So, for me, I’m happy but I’m not happy. I will still say my mind because I’m a business man. They should fulfill the promises they made to us.”

According to the Ex-agitators, fulfillment of promises and prompt payments of stipends made by federal government will be a key to peace and tranquility, saying federal should match their words with actions.

They acknowledged the good intentions and various Programme federal government has introduced them to, and asked their colleagues to give peace a chance for the government to develop the region.

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