The Ijaw People’s Association of Great Britain and Ireland (IPA) has refuted claims that the president of the association, Rev Francis B. Akpanari, has called for the termination of the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP).
GbaramatuVoice recalls that a statement was published on a national newspaper, The Nation, saying that Rev Francis is enjoining the Federal Government to scrap the amnesty programme.
Reacting, the Ijaw People’s Association in a statement issued exclusively to the GbaramtuVoice and signed by Dr. Antonia Garner, Vice President of the group, stated that the statement credited to Rev. Francis is not true.
The statement read: “The IPA is yet to ascertain what were the exact words of Rev Francis B. Akpanari spoken in his private capacity, on a private visit to Nigeria, with journalists who reported on the matter.
“The Ijaw People’s Association is too far away to make on-the-spot assessment of such a vital program that contributes to sustainable peace in the Niger Delta. As an organisation based in the United Kingdom, the IPA is not in the best position to make pronouncements on the relative success or failure of the programme.
“The IPA understands the PAP as an ongoing programme of the Federal Government in its commitment to the welfare of the Niger Delta, and believe that there are well-meaning key stakeholders in Nigeria, such as the Niger Delta State Governments, NGOs, programme managers, and participants, who are in a better position to assess and reassess the success of the programme, its relevance to the people of the Niger Delta and guide it to achieve better outcomes in terms of human resources development such as vocational skills and higher education for the youths of the region.
“Therefore, the IPA as an organisation has not called for the termination of the Presidential Amnesty Programme.
“The IPA hopes this clarifies our position. All stakeholders of the PAP should take note.”