President Muhammadu Buhari and Yemi Osibanjo
Acting President Yemi Osibanjo
For five months, the in-training allowances have not been paid and they have been sent packing from the university hostels in the UK
Leader of Leadership for Peace and Cultural Initiative a former militant group, Reuben Wilson, revealed this in Yenagoa, Bayelsa state
Former Niger Delta militants who are studying in the United Kingdom are stranded following the non-release of funds to them by the federal ministry of finance.
The students who are studying under the auspices of Niger delta scholarship in the United Kingdom are said to be in the final year programmes but the non-release of funds to them by the federal government is standing as impediment to their progress in the UK.
In a statement made available to journalists in Yenagoa, Bayelsa state capital, an ex – militant group, Leadership for Peace and Cultural Initiative (LPCDI), said the students in different universities have been stopped from continuing their programmes following the non-availability of funds from the federal government.
The group, led by its National President, Reuben Wilson, noted that the students have been sent packing from their accommodations and are stranded in the UK.
Reuben said for five months the students’ in-training allowances have not been paid and it is making life difficult for the former militants who surrendered their arms to the federal government in 2009.
The Ex-militants have again warned the federal ministry of finance over the delay in the release of the budgetary allocations meant for the programme.
The ex-militants said the prompt release of funds from the ministry will pave way for the effective and efficient management of the programme and ease the challenges of the students overseas.
The ex-agitators noted that the timely release of the funds was necessary in order to strengthen the on-going efforts being made by the federal government to enthrone lasting peace in the region.
The LPCDI, an umbrella body of over 90 percent of the first phase leaders of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, said it was a unanimous decision taken by all members of the body.
The group acknowledged and appreciated the fact that the Acting President of Nigeria, Prof. Yemi Oshinbajo, is currently touring the Niger Delta to foster peace and development of the region, but maintained that the prompt release of the funds will go a long way in strengthening the achievements of the Acting President.
The statement noted that the delay in payments the stipends will greatly affect the current efforts of the federal government in enthroning peace in the region.
It added that the amnesty programme is a great contributor to the current peace in the region but regretted the current state of lack of funds for the program was hampering the success of the program.
“As stakeholders who truly want the accelerated development of the Niger Delta, the delay could slow the ongoing peace process and we wouldn’t want such to happen.
“Anyone or group of persons who do not consider the importance of the Presidential Amnesty Programme in the peace building process of the region is an enemy of the nation.
“Such a person or group of persons do not also mean well for the administration of President Mohammadu Buhari, as the economic prosperity and development of the nation still largely, depends on the peace in the Niger Delta,” he stated.
Kemi Adeosun, minister of finance
The group called on all well-meaning Nigerians and stalwarts of the governing APC to impress on the Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, the need for prompt and timely release of funds meant for the amnesty office.
Reuben said the group is working tirelessly across the Niger Delta to enthrone peace so that the present administration will be able to achieve its policies and programmes for the betterment of Nigeria.
The group called on the minister to employ the vigor it employed in strengthening the naira against the dollar to also facilitate the prompt release of funds meant for the programme and treat same as priority to concretize the existing peaceful environment in the Niger Delta.