Interim Administrator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), Col. Milland Dixon Dikio (rtd), has classified operators of illegal refineries as murderers, saying they contribute to the untimely death of many people in the Niger Delta.
Dikio spoke yesterday in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, at a one-day awareness and sensitization workshop organized by PAP’s Strategic Communication Committee (STRACOM).
Lamenting the health hazards posed by illegal refineries, Dikio said everyone living in Port Harcourt was at risk of dying for inhaling toxic substances from such refineries.
He appealed to all stakeholders, especially ex-agitators, to collectively bring an end to illegal oil bunkering to save the region from the looming environmental and health disaster.
The PAP boss lauded members of STRACOM for putting together the workshop, saying he would continue to work with them to increase awareness on the negative impact of illegal oil bunkering.
He also charged youths in the region to stop making excuses for being idle and seize the numerous opportunities before them to earn a decent living and create employment opportunities for others.
He said: “If you are involved in ‘kpo fire’ (illegal refineries) you are not involved in good success. You are a murderer, pure and simple.
“Niger Delta is too rich for anybody to be poor. You have to think beyond paper qualification and work for the development of the region. Sixty per cent of the small businesses that run America are owned by individuals and most of them don’t have college degrees.
“Here in Nigeria, we pride ourselves as the most literate set of immigrants. How many of you are governors or own businesses or are senators? It’s high time we woke up. Collectively, we will change our narrative. Niger Delta will be the safest place to live and do business in Nigeria.”
On his part, Head of Reintegration at the PAP, Alfred Kemepado, commended the ex-agitators for organizing the programme, and appealed to them to continue to be change agents.
Rivers State Director of the National Orientation Agency (NOA), Mr. Young Ayo Tamuno, represented by a Deputy Director, Mr. Edward Banigo, said the workshop was timely in view of the coming general elections.
chairman of STRACOM, Pastor Nature Dumale Keigh thanked Dikio for his massive support in their various enlightenment campaigns.