In this interview, the CEO of Ezonebi Training Centre, Lagos, Madam Enetimi Evah Bunuzigha popularly known as Royal Mother, has dispelled speculations making the rounds that she was arrested by the Economic Financial and crimes commission (EFCC). Evah, who’s a consultant to Presidential Amnesty Programme, however said that the scheme must be sustained,
How did you go suddenly from training 50 delegates of the Presidential Amnesty Programme to 137 trainees?
First of all, I am from Ekogbene under Burutu Local Government area, in Delta State. I have been a consultant to the federal government, under the Presidential Amnesty program for eight years plus. In the last eight years, I have worked with three of the Special Assistants. My work with ex-militants began during President Goodluck Jonathan-led administration.
I began with 50 delegates (agitators) and the focus of the training then was on entrepreneurship. The duration of the training was four months. The training helped the delegates develop their entrepreneurial skills and equip them with skills to transform their lives significantly.
My first training was a huge success and I was so fulfilled to contribute to the lives of ex-militants. The delegates left the training centre with hope and joy and above all skills to better their livelihood.
I dropped my report for the previous training and I was awarded another contract with more delegates than the previous training. My delegates became shop owners, employing other youths in the Niger-Delta. This brought hope to the region as the purpose for the creation of the programme was seen to be achieved in my centre.
Our training centre in Lagos is well equipped with the best resources in fashion designing, leather works (shoes and bag manufacturing) and ICT equipment and well trained facilitators, with a capacity of 250 delegates.
At the time Professor Charles Dokubo resumed office, we had already achieved more than 60 percent success rate in our delegates trained, meaning 60 percent of the delegates that attended our Training Institution are already self-made and employers in their various communities.
I don’t want to brag but we are one of the best training contractors this Programme has. To this end, our success stories and capacity and passion in changing lives have contributed to the number of delegates we receive each year, so it is normal for the Office of the Presidential Amnesty Programme to increase the number of delegates given to us due to our excellent records and our capacity to train the ex-agitators.
How impactful has the training been?
First of all, without this amnesty programme, I am sure a lot of tension would have been going on in the Niger Delta now.
And that is why one must appreciate and thank the President Buhari administration for retaining the programme. This programme has really helped in shaping lives. It has helped to bring out the best in some of these delegates. Some of them have become employers of labour. The dignity of labour is already inculcated in them.
They are all scattered in and around in Lagos, Ondo, Rivers, Bayelsa, Delta States doing wonderfully well. But for this programme, the peace the region is enjoying would have become bloody.
137 of the delegates trained in my centre in June, 2019 graduated. Out of them, over 115 have already been empowered by the Presidential Amnesty Office, which is the instant empowerment after the graduation ceremony.
Among the delegate is a lady, Miebi Foko, who graduated in fashion designing in the last batch. She is in Bayelsa State. She called to say she has employed four apprentices and didn’t know she could make the kind of sales she’s making. There are others, Otuma, in Ekeremo, Prince, Emelapor, Tony, so many, they’re all doing well.
So, why were you arrested by the EFCC?
Arrested by EFCC? That is the most ridiculous story I have heard this year. How can I be arrested when I have not committed any offence? I render services to the government with a duly registered Training Institution company. I have never been arrested, invited or called by any law enforcement agencies before and now.
You can only be arrested when you have been convicted of a crime. We are into Human Capacity Development, which is not a crime. Those stories were made up by people who don’t like the fact that we impact lives positively through the Presidential Amnesty Programme. It’s just beer parlor story, all tissue of lies.
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