By Binebai Princewill
Leading Niger Delta Socio-Cultural group under the auspices of Ijaw Defenders Mandate (IDM) have on Thursday tackled a coalition of Isoko Youths over their remark on Major General Barry Tariye Ndiomu (Rtd), Interim Administrator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme.
The Ijaw Defenders Mandate while tackling the Isoko Youths on their reckless comment on Ndiomu had noted that it appears that the youths do not know the modus operandi of the Niger Delta Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP).
They particularly described the vote of no confidence passed on Ndiomu by the Isoko Youths as laughable and a huge mockery to those behind it, stressing that it shows that they clearly do not understand how the Amnesty Programme operates.
Reacting to the Isoko Youths, the Ijaw Defenders Mandate (IDM) had in a counter statement signed by Mr. Solomon Igbanwei, Public Relations Officer of the group, a copy of which was sent to The Liberator Newspapers Worldwide yesterday noted that Ndiomu is the best thing that has ever happened to the Amnesty programme, stressing that such cheap blacmails will not work.
However, Mr. Solomon while counselling the Isoko Youths maintained that Ndiomu has no power considering the way the programme is designed to admit more people into the programme, adding that for anyone to attack Ndiomu on such basis means that such persons do not understand the workings in the Amnesty Programme.
According to Igbanwei, the Amnesty programme is not structured along ethnic lines but a programme that is born out of struggle for which its actors were admitted in the programme, adding that it is not a programme that people will just wake up and be admitted into it, stressing that the process of admitting people is long over.
“People should understand the difference between the Amnesty programme and other intervention agencies in Niger Delta.
“While the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and the Niger Delta Ministry are created for the development of the region, the Niger Delta Presidential Amnesty Programme is created to accommodate only those that took arms against the federal government of Nigeria to resist the alleged age long oppression in the Nigerian state in 2009.
“Consequently there was a time limit given to the ex-agitators to lay down their arms to be part of the programme.
“So many processes from laying down of arms to the enlisting of ex-agitators into the programme to training and empowerment and what have you.
“There is serious documentation regarding activities in the Presidential Amnesty Programme, Ndiomu is only working on laid down scripts, he do not have the power to include anyone aside this aforementioned processes. People should get their facts straight before rushing to the media. ” Igbanwei added.
Meanwhile, IDM had urged Ndiomu not to be distracted by such group of people, stressing that all right thing Niger Deltans are seeing and proud of his productive leadership he has been displaying within the few months that he has handled the office