The Interim Administrator, Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), Col. Milland Dixon Dikio (retd), has appointed ex-agitators into a novel committee he constituted on Strategic Commumications.
The committee, which was inaugurated in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, on Monday, came at the backdrop of the workshop on Strategic Communications organised for select ex-agitators in March by PAP in conjunction with Academic Associates Peacework.
The 10-member committee had been mandated to act as watchdogs of PAP; act as an extension of the scheme’s media unit and provide feedback from the region to the PAP office.
Inaugurating the committee, Dikio charged the ex-agitators to enrich, monitor and propagate the PAP’s roadmap. He also charged them to come up with workable ideas that will help to create a conducive atmosphere for businesses to thrive in the region, this he believes will encourage industries that left the region to return.
The return of businesses back to the region will enable ex-agitators seek ways to generate multiple streams of income, and go beyond the collection of N65,000 monthly stipends.
“Nobody survives on one stream of income and that’s why it is important for you to take cognizance of the provisions in the Niger Delta Recovery Plan which is embedded in the post DDR and sustained impact of the programme”, he said.
Dikio said members of the committee represented a special think tank group of the PAP, describing them as change agents and urging them to live up to their new assignment.
He underscored the importance of strategic communication in the region and appealed to the committee to carry out their assigned tasks with due diligence and with a keen sense of awareness, commitment and high degree of responsibility.
Dikio said: “It is important to let you all understand how critical your roles are as members of the committee. You are considered as think tanks and change agents. As members of PAP’s Strategic Communications Committee, you are our eyes and ears in the region.
“That’s why I am associating the committee as an extension of our media and communication unit in PAP headed by the Special Adviser on Media, Neotaobase Egbe.
“We are interested in you taking the message from us down to the region and also giving us feedback. By so doing, it will help us to serve our region, people better and also remove any form of misunderstanding, including providing clarity of thoughts and expression to our vision and mandate.
“We strongly believe effective communication brings people together, closer to each other. And in our bid to change the ugly narrative about PAP and the region, we decided to engage you all as members of this very important committee”.
In his response, the Chairman of the Committee, Mr. Nature Dumale Kieghe, thanked the Interim Administrator for finding him and his colleagues worthy to be part of the committee.
He assured him of the committee’s commitment to discharge its responsibilities effectively to support PAP’s quest to transform the region.