The European Union (EU) and the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) are set to unveil a collaboration to tackle the root cause of instability in the Niger Delta with a new programme that will focus on the proper development of youth of the region between ages twelve (12) and eighteen (18).
This was disclosed during a courtesy visit of the EU Ambassador to Nigeria, Ms. Samuella Isopi, to the Interim Administrator of PAP, Colonel Milland Dixon Dikio (rtd), who, in the company of PAP management, received the visitor that was represented by Mr. Thomas Kieler the Political Affairs Officer to the EU Ambassador at PAP Headquarters in Abuja.
Speaking, Kieler said, “The purpose of this visit is to inform you that the EU projects in Niger Delta are coming to an end. The EU has a long-standing programme in the region since 2008. We have had the longest programmes in development portfolio. The big one is called the Niger Delta Support Programme, which covers the areas of governance, peace, infrastructure; working with the state governments of the region.
“Another project we had was called the Niger Delta Dialogue Forum. It was a mediation platform through which different stakeholders meet, resolve grievances and come to agreement. Unfortunately, these programmes are now finishing. We are here because we want to get a better understanding of how we might formulate the next phase.
“So, from 2023 to 2024, we will be ready to devote some new development (programme) to the region. That is why we are here today to discuss with the Presidential Amnesty Program on how we might support in the future. We very much agree with the need to address the root cause of the underlying issues of the region,” Kieler said.
In his remark, Dikio commended the delegation for the visit and for the EU’s love for the Niger Delta.
Dikio said, “At Amnesty Programmme, we are essentially dedicated to contributing to peace and security in the Niger Delta through disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration process. Along the line, we are putting up a few more tasks under the umbrella of post DDR. We are very delighted to have you here.
“We want to collaborate with the EU to address the root cause of instability in the region. The framework for doing this is to focus on the young people from ages twelve (12) to eighteen (18) because we believe that giving them a new output of life will stem the tide that leads to their deviant behaviours. We are using what is called the heart and mind approach to conflict resolution. And we are at peace with our people; we hear them out and we proffer solutions to their problems.”
Kieler’s delegation from the EU Commission to PAP included: the Law Enforcement Officer of EU, Mr. Peter De Scheemaeker and the Consultant to EU on Niger Delta Affairs, Mr. Tarila Ebiede.
The collaboration between the European Union and the Presidential Amnesty Programme to tackle instability in the Niger Delta is one of many that the Interim Administrator, PAP, Col. Milland Dikio (Rtd) has had since his assumption of office, all in a bid to make the Niger Delta region the most peaceful place to live and do business in Nigera.