By Eunice Nnach, Yenagoa
Ex-agitators have applauded the Interim Administrator, Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), Col. Milland Dixon Dikio (retd) for initiating a three-day Basic Orientation Course (BOC) for the novel Train, Employ and Mentor (TEM) model designed to transform them into entrepreneurs.
The leaders described the course, which commenced on Wednesday at the Nigerian Navy College of Engineering in Sapele, Delta State as a dream come true and a fulfillment of the promise made by Dikio when he assumed office.
Speaking in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, the National Secretary of the first phase ex-agitators, Pastor Nature Dumale Kieghe, hailed Dikio for his vision of creating wealth for people of the region, particularly the youths.
Kieghe, who was flanked by first phase PAP coordinators in the nine Niger Delta states, expressed optimism that a new dawn had come for the region with the massive job opportunities expected after the training.
He said: “This is historic for us and we are very excited about it. The training which is targeted at the 8,000 untrained ex-agitators will at the end provide massive job opportunities and in the process create wealth for our youths.”
“We have been waiting for this moment. We recall that when Colonel Milland Dixon Dikio (rtd) came on board he promised us a new kind of training and told us about Train, Employ and Mentor (TEM). Most people didn’t believe then but today he has made it a reality with the Basic Orientation Course.
“All round the region deployment of our boys are on-going, some for Agriculture, Maritime transportation and security, oil and gas, among others. It is indeed heartwarming”.
Kieghe, who is also the Chairman of the Strategic Communications Committee (STRACOM) of the PAP, however, expressed concern over the apathy displayed by some delegates for the training, saying if they missed the opportunity they would forever live in regret.
He said: “The narrative must change. The PAP perception must change. People must see the benefit for once. People must see the value of the PAP. So, I charge our youths to take full advantage of this opportunity. It is a unique and golden opportunity.”
“We have been informed that even after sending them several messages to make themselves available for the three-day orientation programme some of our boys have ignored it on account of flimsy excuses. A very wrong move and we are not happy about that.
“Same people who have been shouting that they want to be trained, putting pressure on the Interim Administrator. Now it is here. We appeal to them to please resist the devil prompting them to stay away”, he added.