The Interim Administrator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, retired Colonel Milland Dikio, says the era of violence and arms struggle in the Niger Delta region is over.
Dikio made this known at the graduation of 200 delegates of PAP at Bradama International Skill Works Limited, Agadagba-Obon in Ese-Odo Local Government Area of Ondo State on Sunday.
This, according to him, has “given way to new ideas in intellectual space, driven by science and technology to advance speedy development and growth of the people”.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the trainees completed a six -month intensive classroom and workshop trainings in Welding/Fabricating, Abrasive Blasting, Mechanical Fittings, Industrial Painting and Scaffolding/Rigging under the 2019/2020 PAP Delegates Training Programme.
Dikio noted that the success story of PAP had affirmed that given the right orientation and skill, youths from the region had risen to the technological challenge of the 21st century as better alternative to arms struggle.
He said: “We are here to celebrate what is possible in the Niger Delta region and beyond by reorientation and re-dedication of our core values as a people toward seeking better living conditions for everyone.
“I am going to charge you (graduands) to leave here with the spirit of excellence, which the Chief Executive Officer Managing Director of Bradama International, High Chief Bibopere Ajube, has excellently demonstrated as a leader of ex- agitators in the region.
“As ex-agitators, you don’t need to look any further for mentorship, the managing director of Bradama International has competed with the best in the world and continued to stand out among his peers.
“He is indeed, the new face of technology advancement in emancipation struggle of Niger Delta.
“This is not an ordinary graduation ceremony, and so we hold the sixth graduates of Bradama and the first under my watch, in high esteem.
“We hope and pray you will be the difference makers as you go into the world.
“As you leave this place, you will meet challenges, but as the saying goes that when the going gets tough, the tough gets going, I assure you that the sky is not your limit, but your starting point.”
In his response, Ajube thanked the Federal Government under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari for the financial and administrative support for the Amnesty Programme.
Ajube urged the graduands to use the practical training and certificate obtained to seek gainful employment to better their lives and that of their family members.
This, he said, would justify the huge investment of the Federal Government expended on them during the course of the training.
According to him, the Niger Delta region needs peace now than before to enable her compete favourably in Project Nigeria and advance her people in developmental strides through innovations, science and technology.
Ajube said: “Please, don’t waste the skills you acquired here.
“Put it to productive use and change your lives for good.
“I thank you for your cooperation and peaceful composure during your stay here in Bradama and I wish you good luck in your future endeavour.”
In his vote of thanks, a trainee, Agent Benson, commended the Federal Government for the huge financial commitment expended on them through the Amnesty office, vowed that they were ready to impact the society positively with their newly acquired skills and knowledge.
Benson also thanked the administrator and other officials of PAP, the CEO of Bradama and his coordinating staff for the dedication and ensuring that the trainees were adequately trained and completed the six months programme despite the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic since the kickoff of the programme in December 2019.
Guests at the ceremony included the Paramount ruler of Arogbo-Ijaw kingdom, Pere Zacchaeus Doubra Egbunu; Ahaba of Ajagbaland and member of House of Representatives for Ilaje/Ese-Odo Federal Constituency, Kolade Victor Akinjo.
Others in the entourage of the PAP Interim administrator included, the Special Adviser to the National Security Adviser, Ambassador Yusuf Mamman; Coordinator of Amnesty Office in Bayelsa, Dame Esther Boro; her Ondo State counterpart, Samuel Twatimi; and head of vocational training of PAP, Ebiegberi Lambert