A former militant leader in the Niger Delta region, Mr. Akuna Akpaikpai has called on stakeholders of the Niger Delta region to be patient with Maj. Gen. Barry Tariye Ndiomu (Rtd) who is the new Interim Administrator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) whom he described as a man of honour and integrity for those that truly know him.
Mr. Akuna Akpaikpai also charged well meaning sons and daughters of Niger Delta to behold and give the new Amnesty boss, Maj. Gen Barry Ndiomu, a son of the region the needed support to succeed, noting that he will never compromise the progress of the programme and the interest of the region on his own personal terms.
According to Akpaikpai, Ndiomu has just been appointed to coordinate the Amnesty Programme with a template given to him by the federal government of Nigeria, stressing that Niger Deltans are yet to know and see the full implementation of the template with which Ndiomu will be operating on, adding that hardly can one see anyone that has the interest of Niger Delta development more than Maj. Gen. Barry Tarriye Ndiomu.
However, speaking with newsmen in Warri, Delta State yesterday, Mr. Akuna stated that it is not true that Ndiomu said the Federal Government of Nigeria Nigeria is replacing the Niger Delta Amnesty Programme with the pipeline surveillance security contract awarded to a highly respected Niger Delta leader, High Chief Government Oweizide Ekpemupolo, alias Tompolo, adding that such news did not and cannot come from Gen. Ndiomu as there is no relationship between the Niger Delta Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) and a pipeline surveillance security contract awarded to Tompolo.
Speaking further, Akuna stated that if Niger Deltans will be truthful to themselves, from the very beginning of the programme in 2009, it was something that stakeholders are aware of that PAP will not last forever as it will come to an end one day, how the Federal Government of Nigeria has managed to sustain the programme for a period of 13 years is something that Niger Deltans should be thankful to the Federal Government of Nigeria.
“Now, over the years, a lot of people have been trained in the programme, most people have been empowered as well which is the major mandate of the programme. At least it will not be a bad idea for Ndiomu to sanitize the programme by ensuring that things are done properly in the programme. Let those that have not been trained be trained and empowered.
“Realistically speaking, Amnesty Programmes all over the world always last for few years after which it will be terminated by the Government. That the Niger Delta Presidential Amnesty Programme has lasted this long is all thanks to God and the Federal Government of Nigeria.
“To the best of my knowledge, even if the programme is to wind up, it is going to be a gradual process that will take more than a year. I am also aware that the programme might not be terminated but may metamorphosed into an agency that will properly carter for the needs of our people in the coming years.
“PAP is a child of the Federal Government of Nigeria and so whatever that happens to it is under the directives of the Federal Government, an individual should not be held responsible for a directive of the Government. As Niger Deltans, we have to prepare ourselves and minds along this regard. The point is that even if the programme did not end now, it will still end someday.
“No one should see Gen. Barry Tariye Ndiomu otherwise because he is just like a messenger carrying out the orders of the Federal Government of Nigeria. No one can even claim to love Niger Delta more than he does. He has paid his dues in Nigeria ” Mr. Akpaikpai added