Foremost Ijaw activist and Coordinator, Ijaw Monitoring Group, Comrade Joseph Evah, has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to discountenance calls by mischief makers to politicise the Presidential Amnesty Office.
Evah. a former National Publicity Secretary of the Ijaw National Congress, stressed that any society that is keen on making progress would give priority attention to available first class brains with superlative record of performance and competence to occupy sensitive offices in the interest of the society.
He stated that President Buhari retained the services of the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, and backed Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina for the leadership of the Africa Development Bank, and recently Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala for the position of the Director General of the World Trade Organization though they served under former President Goodluck Jonathan, in appreciation of the pertinence of engaging first class brains for national development irrespective of party affiliation.
He also called on the Interim Administrator of the PAP to take a cue from President Buhari by making it a policy to go for first class brains with proven capacity to do the job in the interest of the region and Nigeria.
The former Publicity Secretary of the Ijaw National Congress said those who call for the engagement of only All Progressives Congress members in the PAP do not mean well for the region and the country.
He commended President Buhari for the appointment of Colonel Milland Dikio (retd) as the Interim Administrator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme.
The prominent activist also thanked the National Security Adviser, Major General Babagana Monguno, for recommending Dikio to the President for the sensitive Amnesty job.
Comrade Evah advised the President to ignore those he described as mischief makers and political jobbers who are desperately struggling to taint the image of the new Amnesty boss with unacceptable political sentiments inimical to peace in the region.
He said it was a good development the President and the NSA, who appointed Dikio, are aware of the systemic rot in the Amnesty Office and the web of corruption existing between operatives of the office and some persons outside the office over the years.
Evah noted that the President was right to have appointed Dikio, a disciplined retired military officer, reputed for his integrity and high level of competence and attention for details.
He urged the President and the Office of the NSA to give free hands to the new Amnesty Boss to select his team of competent and trusted Nigerians with the right contact to assist him in wrestling the office from the talons of greed and corruption.
He explained that a reformer no matter how gifted, dedicated and strong will not be able to achieve much if he does have the freedom to do the right thing.
The IMG president therefore urged President Buhari to ensure that Dikio is allowed to engage the services of all competent Ijaw sons, Niger Deltans and Nigerians to fit into appropriate roles irrespective of political leanings in the Amnesty Office.
He also called on Dikio to be focused and be prepared to take the tough decision in the mission to rewrite the story of rot in the Amnesty Office in the interest of peace and stability in the Niger Delta.
He said: “I must commend President Muhammadu Buhari and the NSA, Major General Babagana Monguno, for appointing Colonel Milland Dikio, a Niger Delta don, as the Head of the Amnesty Office.
“While I will urge the President and the Office of the NSA which oversees the Amnesty Office to give him the freehand to change the sad story of Office, I advise Colonel Dikio to be wary of political jobbers and their mischievous antics.
“The Amnesty Office is not a party office; it is a Federal Government office where any competent Niger Delta person whose services are needed should work.
“I urge him to make the Ijaw nation proud by doing the right things in accordance with expectations no matter what happens. We are watching.”