Reports reaching us has it on good authority that the Federal Government has completed the payment of a huge part of the outstanding allowances which is being owed ex-militants under the Presidential Amnesty Programme.
It was gathered that of the five month salary arrears being owed the ex-militants, the government had paid two months.
Mr . Ramsey Mukoro who is a leader of Phase 3 of the Amnesty Programme, said on Saturday that some former agitators had received two months’ pay.
“The Amnesty Office has started paying (the arrears) but my third- phase people have yet to get alerts. We are hoping that those of us in the third phase will benefit soon as well.
“It has really been difficult for us. We spent Christmas and the New Year on empty stomach . The government should try to make the payment go round as soon as possible.’’ He said.
Liaison Officer, PAP, of the Bayelsa State Office, Mr . Piriye Kiyaramo, also confirmed that the Amnesty Office began the payment after the New Year’s holiday.
A statement released by Mr. Kiyaramo said,“The Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta and Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme , Brig. – Gen. Paul Boroh ( retd.), is concerned about the welfare of beneficiaries in the programme .
“He would stop at nothing until a sustainable reintegration of the ex -agitators into the society with sustainable source of livelihood is ensured .”
The payments alerts came a few days after chairmen of Phase 1 and 2 of Bayelsa State Amnesty Programme, Mr. Excel Divine and Salvation Ibina -Rufus, respectively, urged President Muhammadu Buhari to intervene.
They had said that President Buhari’s immediate intervention would bring down the skyrocketing tension which is currently bedevilling the region over the unpaid arrears.
Specifically, Ibina-Rufus had urged Buhari to order the Federal Ministry of Finance to release money to pay the ex -agitators to avoid another restiveness in the region .