Drama as Ikpeazu, Amnesty boss, disagree over 237 Abia beneficiaries . Osinbajo intervenes

There was serious drama weekend, in Umuahia during a town hall meeting with the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, as Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu, and the Coordinator of Niger Delta Amnesty programme, Gen. Paul Boroh ( retd.), sharply disagreed over the real identities of 237 beneficiaries of Abia slot in the amnesty scholarship programme.

Boroh had while responding to complaints by oil- producing communities in Abia that they were excluded in the amnesty programme including the scholarship scheme, announced that "237 Abians are currently benefiting" from the scholarship scheme.

He also insisted that contrary to claims by the people, Abia indigenes were captured in the amnesty programme, adding that one Hon. Ben Abia was the one coordinating other beneficiaries from the state.

But dissatisfied  by Boroh's explanations, Ikpeazu during his remarks, said no single Abia was a beneficiary of the amnesty programme.

The governor who described the said beneficiaries as "ghosts" called for immediate probe to ascertain the cabal behind the fraud.

Ikpeazu said that the federal government should include Abia in the amnesty and pay for the arrears of the 237 slots, lamenting that the non- inclusion of Abia youths involved in the militancy in the region gave rise to kidnapping in the state.

According to him, some of the repentant militants who were excluded from the scheme after laying down their weapons   resorted to kidnapping for ransom as a survival strategy.

He also expressed sadness at the refusal of oil firms operating in the state to employ the indigenes in violation of the local content pact which recommended that the recruitment of staff levels one to six be limited the indigenes alone.

" No Abia indigene is a staff of the oil firm in Owasa, yet every morning the company uses two coaster buses with army escort to convey its staff from Port Harcourt. This is part of the agitation of our youth", Ikpeazu fumed.

Faulting the Amnesty boss also, the member representing Osisioma/ Ukwa/ Ugwunagbo federal constituency at the House of Representatives, Hon. Nkem Abonta, said it was unthinkable that a list of Abia beneficiaries on the amnesty would be drawn without his knowledge as the representative of the oil producing areas in the state.

He dismissed the said beneficiaries as "fake" , and challenged Gen. Boroh to make public  their identities, a challenge the amnesty boss said he would  take up and publish the beneficiaries with their phone contacts.

It took the intervention of the Vice President for the argument to subside as he said " it is now clear that there is problem somewhere".

Osinbajo who said that " somebody somewhere is doing something funny", assured that henceforth, the federal government would involve the governor of the state to ensure only genuine Abians benefit from the scheme.

Drama as Ikpeazu, Amnesty boss, disagree over 237 Abia beneficiaries . Osinbajo intervenes Drama as Ikpeazu, Amnesty boss, disagree over 237 Abia beneficiaries . Osinbajo intervenes Reviewed by Odogwu Emeka Odogwu on Monday, March 27, 2017 Rating: 5

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