Hundreds of ex-militants under the second phase of the amnesty programme have resolved to back the ongoing verification exercise embarked upon by the Major-General Barry Ndiomu-led administration of the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP).
The group also vowed to open up on the existence of fake militant camps used in diverting amnesty funds for the programme by some individuals.
ETIMES247, gathered that ex-militants under the second phase of the programme said they are not against the ongoing verification exercise by the interim administrator, Major-General Barry Ndiomu (rtd), they, however, want the authorities to take a look at the cause of the incessant conflict between ex-militant leaders and the Amnesty Office.
The group said the major problem is the existence of a fraudulent system in which fake militant camps are formed with the accumulation of names.
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The executive members of the Second Phase Presidential Amnesty Beneficiaries―led by its chairman, Paul Johnson, vice chairman, Taye Amaebimo, secretary, Passman Akpos, and publicity secretary, Gift Agamene―in a letter to the interim administrator of PAP, pointed out that they don’t have any problem whatsoever with the ongoing verification as far as it will bring the desired result.
“But with the direction it is going, it will cause more havoc than good,”
They also claimed that such fake militant camps include Ingia-Wuru camp, IceLand, NDFF, Oran, Egberi camp, Alamini Freedom Fighter 120, Fouchef camp, Kalawo Camp, Usigbe, Aguda, BFF camp, Tobi Camp, Osuo Camp, Benuwolo Camp, Ezekiel Camp, Kenneth Opusi gi, Ateke Tom, T.K Press, Evan Camp, Bayloaf, Perekeme Evan Camp 2, Ebi Camp and K Group.
“These and more are evidence,” according to them, are camps formed to syphon monies in the program, “causing pains and aborting the direction of the programme.”
They also declared their readiness to back the process, declaring that the verification will bring the desired result, calling on the interim administrator, Maj. Gen. Ndiomu to take a review of the list of 6,166 beneficiaries under the second phase with only 5,186 paid from inception which necessitated a special sharing among ex-militants that were not covered under the Amnesty payment.
According to them: “It is said that a stitch in time saves nine. And as initiators of the program, we know what went wrong and what should be done in sanitizing the system if we are permitted. Since the laying down of arms and ammunition to the federal government by the Second Phase Ex-Militants under the administration of Dr Goodluck Jonathan in 2009, our foot soldiers have never been given fair treatment from former interim administrators of PAP.”
They stated further: “It is on record that 6,166 slots were allocated to the second phase in Bayelsa and Delta states. When the program started, payments were made in bulk into accounts of leaders of each camp. Former Special Adviser to the President, Timi Alaibe directed the chief Accountant to raise a memo directing the manager of Skye Bank, now Polaris, to pay the 6,166 ex-militants the sum of N263,539 million and N81,329 million to Bayelsa and Delta respectively.
“The original number of ex-militants that were entitled to benefits was 6,166 but only 5,186 were paid from the inception of this program till date. This entails that, less money is coming into the purse of the ex-agitators to service more persons who are captured but never received their entitlement by the reason of this said fraud. What we do as leaders, the title that comes will be shared among a greater number of people, like sharing a slot to two or more persons, so as to make it go round everybody.”
They further noted: “When Kingsley Kuku took over the leadership of the programme, we were advised to come up with names of brothers and sisters in the region that have the capacity for educational programs so as to benefit from the program educationally. Names were submitted and bank accounts opened for those individuals unknown to us, they were planning to pay the regular N65,000 into the account of those individuals that were originally for educational purposes.
“Based on this foregoing, we, the leaders of the various camps were now faced with issues of incomplete payments by the reasons of 5,186 ex-militants [paid] instead of 6,166 and the issue of more persons coming into the system on the angle of educational training, that are claiming a right to the regular N65,000 monthly stipends.
“On this note, there are persons who are in possession of documents relating to the Presidential Amnesty Program, like ID cards, Amnesty Certificate who wants to be verified. With the way things are going, such individuals will be verified because he or she actually possesses a document and then submit an account number to be paid by the program. Funds will be diverted from the right person to the wrong person thereby causing more problems.”