Presidential Amnesty Programme: Niger Delta Parents Send SOS To Buhari | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Presidential Amnesty Programme: Niger Delta Parents Send SOS To Buhari

Posted: Apr 28, 2016 at 3:37 am   /   by   /   comments (0)


Igoniko Oduma



Parents of 43 Niger Delta students studying under the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) of the Federal Government in the United States have appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to save the education of their children.

They said the children were enrolled in universities in America through the office of the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta Special Scholarship for Crisis Impacted Communities in the region.

The parents in a joint statement signed by Mr. Kingsley Feboke, Mr. Ayente Douglas and Mrs. Victoria Feboke, on behalf of others, said that the scholarship scheme was a window created by former President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration for youths from crisis-impacted communities to be captured in the Amnesty programme.

They complained that the authorities in the Amnesty Office and Kaplan Consultants were playing politics with the education and lives of the children, as the programme was no longer moving smoothly due to alleged disagreement with the Amnesty office and the consultants.

“We are constrained to raise the alarm because our children have been abandoned in the United States and are being treated as Prisoners of War.

“We got report that the Amnesty Office is considering revoking the contract with Kaplan (the consultants).

“We understand that Kaplan has a valid and subsisting contract with the Amnesty Office where students are enrolled in higher institutions in the United States after undergoing a globally recognised educational foundation training otherwise called Pathway Programme.

“The pathway programme prepares students from developing nations for the purpose of studying in developed countries such as the USA and the United Kingdom. These 43 Niger Delta students were beneficiaries under the Third Phase for communities impacted by violence and armed conflicts.

“They were successful in this programme that was run at Kaplan International College in Lagos for nine months, and thereafter, proceeded to the Northeastern University in Massachusetts for a three-month summer bridge programme after which they proceeded to their chosen universities to start the second year of their Bachelor’s degree,” they lamented.

The parents explained that since the appointment of Brig.-Gen. Paul Boroh (retd.) as Amnesty Coordinator, the office had allegedly refused to address the welfare of the students.

They said that the Amnesty Office’s failure to pay the tuition fees, accommodation,  books and allowances of the students had almost resulted in throwing the children to the streets of America.

They expressed the fear that the development was capable of causing national embarrassment and had the potential of compromising the diplomatic relationship between the US and Nigeria in view of the high level agreement between the two countries that resulted in issuance of visa at the children.

They, therefore, appealed to President Buhari to intervene in the matter because all their entreaties had been ignored and their children were being thrown out from their various schools owing to the refusal of their sponsors (Amnesty office) to meet their financial obligations.

“The possible psychological effect of their withdrawal from the programme and what this could portend for future peace and conflict dynamics in the Niger Delta and Nigeria will not augur well for us all.

“We plead with the Presidency to intervene as a matter of urgency because these children are being threatened with deportation in shortest possible future,” they added.