PAP: Ndiomu To Collaborate With Niger Delta Affairs Ministry To Fulfil Amnesty Mandate

Maj. Gen. Barry Tariye Ndiomu, the Interim Administrator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), has reiterated his intention to engage in a mutually beneficial relationship with the Ministry of Niger Delta.

Gen. Ndiomu disclosed this during a courtesy visit to the Minister of Niger Delta, Chief Umanah Umanah, as he hinted that the need for such a relationship is made more imperative due to the enormity of the assignment given to him by the presidency.

The Interim Administrator stated that his mandate is to wind down on the Programme in tandem with international best practices.

He noted that programmes such as amnesty are not meant to last forever, but were established as a stop-gap programme for a given period of time.

According to him, the Niger Delta Amnesty initiative was supposed to have been scrapped in 2015, but the government in its wisdom, felt the need to extend its lifespan to embrace more ex-agitators, adding that this does not mean the Programme should remain in perpetuity.

The initiative is 13 years old today, which is over and above the initial 5-year threshold, he asserted.

This was contained in a press statement signed by the Special Adviser to the Interim Administrator of the presidential Amnesty program, Thomas Ndanusa Peretu.

He, however, noted the programme will not be halted abruptly, adding that such a decision may bring about some forms of economic location with an attendant negative reaction from stakeholders.

The Interim Administrator noted that there is a deliberate, purposeful and systematic approach to stagger the process of disengagement in the interest of its target audience.

He revealed that his dream is to create an alternative, more sustainable agency that will cater to the specific interests of the people especially those of the impacted communities in the Niger Delta.

The Interim Administrator observed that the body will soon embark on a strategic advocacy programme to seek the buy-in and support of critical stakeholders, as well as the ex-agitators.

In his response, the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Chief Umanah Umanah, in a brief remark, stated that the ministry is willing to support PAP to achieve its mandate, as directed by the presidency.

He, however, cautioned that concerted efforts must be made to ensure that the Amnesty Programme is not scrapped without providing an alternative body to cushion the effects of the backlash from the ex-agitators.

He advised the Interim Administrator to seek the buy-in of all interest groups within the Niger Delta region to avoid unnecessary reactions from the people.

The Minister admonished the new management to put in place a mechanism to audit the activities of the Programme so as to ascertain the financial health of the institution.

Chief Umanah Umanah conceded the fact that interventionist programmes are not meant to subsist perpetually, however, he advised that the cessation of the Programme must be given a human face.

“As a sister agency established to address the development deficiencies of the Niger Delta region, PAP should count on its support as always”, he asserted.

Chief Umanah was accompanied by the All Progressives Congress South-South zonal chairman.

On the team of the Interim Administrator were Mr Eustace BellGam, the Chief of Staff, Fly Lt Terry Ajobena, the Technical Assistant to the IA, Mr Wilfred Musa, Head of Reintegration, Lt Col. S.S. Ringim, the S.A. Logistics and Security.

Others are Ita Henshaw, S.A. Documentation, Utibe Efiok, Protocol and Pastor Nature of Stratcom.

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