A member of the House of Representatives, Sodoguwa Festus-Omoni (PDP), has urged the Federal Government to pay the tuition fees of stranded students under the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP).
Festus-Omoni, who represents Ogba Federal Constituency in Bayelsa State, said the students were stranded because the Federal Government failed to pay their tuition and other fees.
He told the News Agency of Nigeria on Thursday in Abuja that the failure of the government to pay the fees of the students was affecting their academic pursuits abroad.
“Action should be expedited to make sure that this money is paid because if these students are so desperate, they can fall prey to anything that can now derail their ambitions to become respectful citizens of Nigeria.
“Women can go into prostitution (and) drug trafficking, (while) men can go into armed robbery and other vices, which we don’t want to happen.
“So, I am pleading with the Federal Government to make sure that these monies are released immediately,” he said.
He said that it was important for the government to meet its financial obligations to the students, as it would go a long way to rehabilitate and reintegrate ex-militants into the society.
Festus-Omoni also stressed the need for the government to sustain the Niger-Delta amnesty programme initiated by the late former President, Umaru Yar’Adua.
According to him, the disarmament and infrastructural development features of the programme are designed to entrench sustainable peace in the region.
He said: “So, when they come back and there is no work, what do we have on our hands; there is a time-bomb ticking. We want to arrest the situation to tell the president to sustain it to its logical conclusion.
“The rehabilitation programme should be ongoing concurrently with the reintegration programme and the development of the Niger-Delta, because that is where these youths will be absorbed.”