Maj. Gen. Ndiomu gave the hint during a meeting with members of the Presidential Amnesty Strategic Communication Committee headed by Mr. Nature Dumale in Port Harcourt on Monday, saying that wide consultations with critical stakeholders across the Niger Delta region points to the fact that the amnesty programme should transit into a more robust agency with permanent features to develop the Niger Delta, rather than continuing with the present programme structure.
According to new amnesty boss, the proposed new name and the composition of the anticipated new agency will be determined by the outcome of ongoing wide consultations with critical stakeholders and leaders of thought across the Niger Delta region, including the ex-agitators.
Maj. Gen. Ndiomu also allayed the fears being expressed in some quarters that the programme will shut down completely, disclosed further that: “It must be a product of wide spread consultations and probably a consensus based on what we think, so nobody is forcing the idea on our throats. It will be something that will be genuine to us.
“Of course, what that will do for us (Niger Delta people) is to enable us redistribute the resources in a more effective manner and we will also be eliminating those avenues of waste and leakages that the amnesty programme is currently experiencing, in that way, it will be of greater benefits to the people of the Niger Delta region”.
“Like I mentioned to you. I have been discussing with leaders across the Niger Delta. So, I expect this committee to continue the interactions with the ex-agitators and the people of Niger Delta, with a view to fashioning out a new agency, beginning with even the name of what the amnesty programme will transit into, so that we (the amnesty office) in turn can pass on that information to the federal government.
“These leaders include the Pandef leadership and other leaders of thought across the Niger Delta region and they are also of the opinion that we should form ourselves into a group that will go and make a formal presentation to the federal government on what exactly we want, may be at the time, the programme itself may be winding down or we don’t necessarily have to wait for it to wind down to come up with our proposal on how we want it to be structured.
“These leaders will go and present it, probably one among you (ex-agitators) will be part of that delegation to make a formal presentation to the government on exactly what we want and the agency will be created there and then. That is not as if we are going to be taken unawares.
“I think that is probably a better way of approaching it because, I as mentioned to you earlier, the name, amnesty programme from beginning, implied that it was designed for a limited period of time and so we ought to be thinking now of moving it into something more permanent. We agree that a lot has been achieved through the Presidential Amnesty Programme over the years.
“Without any doubt, so many of our children have been educated in various fields. The only area is the vocational training where I will give it 40%. success, Maj. Gen. reiterated.
Earlier, chairman of the Presidential Amnesty Strategic Communication Committee, Mr. Nature Dumale, had explained that the strategic communication committee was inaugurated in Port Harcourt after a workshop, about a year ago by the immediate past administration, informing that the core objective of the committee was to design a framework to disseminate information with a view to bridging the communication gap between the Presidential Amnesty Programme and the stakeholders, particularly the people at the grassroots.