Amnesty Office denies plan to divert beneficiaries’ funds, blames transitional arrangement for payment delay
Head of Media and Communication, Daniel Alabrah in a statement, explained that the funds for the payments have been released and intact but the Office had to wait for the order to pay because there is no substantive chairman at the moment due to the transition arrangements at the federal level.
Alabrah appealed for calm, assuring that the stipends would be paid soon. He drew attention to the speech of Mr. President in his inaugural speech where he promised to invest heavily in the Amnesty Programme and the Niger Delta, expressing confidence that the President would make good his promise.
It therefore, appealed to beneficiaries of the programme to maintain peace and give the new government of President Muhammadu Buhari a chance, even as efforts are being made to pay their stipends for the month of May.
According to the statement, the appeal became necessary following the apprehension caused by the delay in the payment of the May 2015 stipends and in-training allowances to onshore and offshore beneficiaries of the programme. It explained that the ongoing transition process at the federal level caused the delay.
“This is a transition period. So, it is important for citizens and especially the former agitators to be patient with the new government, which needs time to settle down to the serious business of governance,” Alabrah said.
He also dismissed as untrue, an allegation by some former agitators that the Director of Finance and Accounts, Mr. Peter Ayoola, was planning to divert funds meant for beneficiaries, saying the allegation was not only spurious and unfounded but that also such act was impossible given the strict accounting system in place at the federal level.
While assuring that the vision of the programme will be upheld and made to conform to the present realities, he said that in the last four years the programme had done better in terms of structure, programmes and implementation.
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