Presidential Amnesty Programme: Time to lift embargo on the scholarship scheme
By GbaramatuVoice Editorial Board
A few months ago, it was reported that the Presidential Amnesty Programme, contrary to expectations of both the youths of the region and other critical stakeholders, suspended its scholarship scheme without recourse to the harmful effects of such decisions.
Giving the reason for the decision, the Interim Administrator, Brig Gen. Barry Tariye Ndiomu (Retd) stated that the suspension became necessary because the rising debt profile arising from the scholarship was becoming a burden of the sort, adding that the debt profile at the time of the stoppage was above N7b Naira per month.
While many stakeholders expressed concerned about the decision and described it as an increased cynicism towards the Amnesty programme established by President Musa Yar’Adua’s administration in 2009 as part of the government’s measures to reduce militancy in the oil-rich Niger Delta region, GbaramatuVoice saw the development as a symptom of a much more deeper crisis.
Aside from this concern, the newspaper was also concerned about the increasingly sophisticated efforts by the Amnesty handlers to manipulate the public and to selectively control information relevant to collective decision processes.
Today, while the suspension of the scholarship has become protracted, ‘controlled information’ about the state of the suspended scholarship is doing greater damage as many of the Niger Delta youths are beginning to forget that there was a scholarship scheme designed by the Federal Government for the benefit of the youths of the region.
The question arising from the foregoing paragraph is: If Presidential Amnesty Scholarship Scheme Is Completely Taken Away, What else can the Niger Delta youths benefit from?
While answer(s) to the above is awaited, GbaramatuVoice Newspaper would at this point state that the purpose of this editorial is not to create disaffection as may be interpreted in some quarters. Rather, it is aimed at offering a roadmap aimed at restoring the health and vitality of the Presidential Amnesty Programme. And the first step to take towards achieving this objective is to restore without delay the much cherished and highly beneficial scholarship scheme.
Doing this will again portray the agency as a listening organization. But while we wait, GbaramatuVoice will state without fear of contradiction that even if every other Niger Deltans or group forgets about this suspended scholarship scheme, the Newspaper will not forget and will continue to call for its re-introduction.
The best TIME to ACT is NOW!
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