Niger Delta youths offered scholarships on compassionate grounds through the Presidential Amnesty Programme to study in universities across the country have been asked not to abuse the privilege.
According to the Amnesty Office, being from the Niger Delta is not an automatic qualification to enjoy the programme as its mandate only covers 30,000 persons in the database.
Murphy Ganagana, the Special Assistant on Media to Coordinator of the Amnesty Programme, Prof. Charles Dokubo, in a statement on Monday said the warning was in view of the “unruly behaviour” by some non-qualified beneficiaries of the programme offered scholarship on compassionate grounds at the Gregory University, Uturu, Abia State.
He said rather than show gratitude after they were “fraudulently and illegally” deployed in the university in March, 2018 by a former official of the Amnesty Office in the previous administration, the students engaged in acts that breached the peace of the university.
Ganagana said the undergraduates were mischievous by demanding same allowances meant for beneficiaries of the programme on scholarship.
“The discovery of illegal deployments followed a verification exercise ordered by the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta and Coordinator, Presidential Amnesty Programme, Prof. Charles Dokubo, on assumption of office.
“A committee set up to ascertain the number of beneficiaries of the Amnesty Programme discovered that an alarming figure of students enrolled in universities under the Amnesty Programme was not captured in the database at the Amnesty Office.
“However, Dokubo was deeply concerned over this worrisome development, especially the plight of the affected students who are also from the Niger Delta, and therefore explored means to address the situation after meeting the management of the affected institutions; rather than sending those not captured in the Amnesty Programme database out of the universities.”
He added, “Consequently, the amnesty office took responsibility for the payment of only tuition and accommodation for persons illegally deployed in March 2018, but paid all entitlements, including book allowance, ITA, tuition and accommodation for those captured in the database.
“Payment of stipends and allowances to beneficiaries of the programme, including those deployed in educational institutions onshore and offshore, is top on the priorities of Prof. Dokubo.”