There was mild drama on Friday, March 24, 2017 at the Abia edition of the Town Hall Meeting between the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, and the Niger Delta states as the state disowned a purported list of beneficiaries of the federal government’s amnesty programme displayed by the senior special assistant to the president on amnesty, General Paul Boro (Rtd).
The meeting, which started well, later turned noisy and disorderly when Boro announced that about 200 Abians have benefitted from the amnesty programme of the federal government, against the insistence by the state that it had been shut out of the programme from the outset.
Shouts of “no, no, it is a lie, sit down,” rent the air at the International Conference Centre, venue of the meeting when Boro insisted that he had a record to show that 237 persons from Abia had benefitted from the amnesty programme.
He was heckled as he tried to read the telephone number of one Kenneth he said was the coordinator of the programme in Abia, whom the people and government denied knowledge of.
As the noise persisted, the presidential aide was forced to abruptly end his presentation.
Both Governor Okezie Ikpeazu and the member representing Ukwa East/Ukwa West Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Nkem Abonta, were categorical that Abia had never been part of the amnesty programme and that no Abian has benefitted from the programme.
“We do not have an Abia fellow in the amnesty programme,” Abonta declared, a view corroborated by Ikpeazu when he said that “there is no single Abian benefitting from the amnesty programme.”
The Governor called for an inquiry to unravel how the list was generated. The Vice President, while responding to the presentations, promised that people from oil-producing communities of Asa land in Ukwa West and Abia State in general would be incorporated into the amnesty
The Vice President used the occasion of the visit to inaugurate the Abia Investment House.
This article originally appeared on News Express.