July 21, 2024

There are indications that pressure has continued to mount on the new  Interim Administrator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), Maj. Gen.  Barry Tariye Ndiomu (rtd) over alleged shoddy scholarships awarded by the immediate past administration as more stakeholders call for the immediate setting up of a probe panel to investigate the 1,714 local and foreign scholarship slots.

Speaking with newsmen in Yenagoa on Monday, former vice chairman  Ijaw Youth Council (IYC), Ogobiri Mein Clan, Snr. Comr. Ebi Olomu, who described the alleged scholarship fraud as a sad commentary, added: “Whereas, the real ex-agitators are excluded from benefitting from the educational programme of PAP, non Niger Deltans and cronies of some dubious official are the ones benefitting from our struggle.

“We want to thank the new Amnesty boss, Maj. Gen. Ndiomu (Rtd), for his achievements within his short period in office. We want him to know that the entire Ijaw Nation is with him on this issue, that he should go ahead with whatever way he wants to go about to cleanse the system.  

“It is no longer news that the immediate past administration of the Presidential Amnesty Programme is involved in an alledged local and foreign scholarship fraud, numbering 1,714 beneficiaries which excluded the real ex-agitators. This discovery is coming following the emergence of the new interim Administrator, Maj. Gen. Ndiomu”, the youth leader said. 

On his part, an Ijaw traditional cleric, Apostle Bodmas Kemepadei, noted that the latest discovery of these local and foreign scholarship awarded to persons whose identities are yet to confirmed as to whether they are real ex-agitators or not, was an exercise hurriedly put together the past administration before their exit.

Apostle Kemepadei maintained that;  “This is a confirmation of my earlier statement that the Presidential Amnesty Programme is a fraud. I want to use this medium to tell Maj. Gen. Ndiomu that the people of the Niger Delta are behind him, that, as a matter of urgency, he should set up a probe panel to probe, investigate, arrest and prosecute those that are involved. 

“It is very very sad, shortchanging the real beneficiaries of the programme for their girl friends, friends, cronies and family members. Those involved should be brought to book and be sentenced to jailed. Stakeholders, youths and women are calling on the new Interim Administrator to set up a probe panel to immediately investigate and weed out the bad eggs responsible for this despicable act aimed at discrediting the integrity of the programme”, he reiterated.

Apostle Kemepadei further stated that: “This discovery reveals that handlers of the past administration are involved in job racketeering and shortchanging of real beneficiaries for their cronies, girlfriends and allies”.

Madam Oyintari Jeremiah, a woman leader from the region also added that: “Before Gen. Ndiomu’s assumption of office, some persons have turned this Presidential Amnesty Programme into their ‘cocoa farm’ to empower and sponsor their wives, brothers and other family members, but thank God for Gen. Ndiomu for fishing out those that were perpetrating that fraud, now the rightful people can benefit from the programme”

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