The Presidential Amnesty Office has again appealed to former agitators in the Niger Delta and beneficiaries enlisted in the Presidential Amnesty Programme, who are protesting the delay in payment of the November 2014 stipend, to eschew violence and show understanding.
The Amnesty Office in a press release issued on Thursday, 18th December, 2014 by its Head of Media and Communications, Mr. Daniel Alabrah, said the appeal became necessary following protests by some of the beneficiaries in some Niger Delta states in the last two days over the delay.
The Office said the Special Adviser to the President and Chairman, Presidential Amnesty Programme, Hon. Kingsley Kuku, who had earlier notified the beneficiaries of the delay through published advertorials in the last one week, has intensified effort to ensure that funds for the November stipends and allowances of beneficiaries were released in the next few days.
“The Special Adviser has been in constant communication with the relevant ministry and agency of government in order to expedite the release and disbursement of our monthly allocation. He has firm assurances that the process will be completed in the next few days and all the beneficiaries will be promptly paid,” Alabrah said.
He noted that the delay was not peculiar to the Amnesty Programme and its beneficiaries as some states and federal government agencies were yet to also pay their staff.
“What this means is that we are in peculiar times that demand sacrifice from everyone. This is not deliberate.
“We know that we run a sensitive programme and do appreciate the pain and apprehension of the former agitators that this delay has caused. But we urge them to show understanding as their stipends had always been promptly paid in the past. We also appeal to them to halt further protests so as not to heighten the tension in the polity,” the statement concluded.