A pressure group, the Niger Delta Peace Advocates (NDPA) has expressed concern over the pervading culture of the pull him down syndrome among some groups in the Niger Delta saying the trend if not checked, will impact the region’s overall development as those charged with the responsibility of driving growth in the region could be discouraged from performing optimally.

Arising from a meeting in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State capital to proffer ways for an inclusive participation of all ethnic groups in the affairs of the region, they frowned at the role of some groups whose incessant protests, agitations, petition writing and negative media appearances was demarketing the Niger Delta and setting the people backwards.
In a statement signed by Ebitimi Kurowei, Chairman and Ekpe Ekpe-Ekere, Publicity Secretary, they noted in particular the unwarranted, uncultured and unconstructive attacks against the Presidential Amnesty Programme’s Interim Administrator, Major General Barry Ndiomu who from our observation has repositioned the Programme in line with the ideals of the founding fathers.

Since assumption of office a year ago as Interim Administrator, the NDPA says it is aware that General Ndiomu has recorded milestones successes in managing the PAP with added value in the reintegration process to build the capacity of ex-agitators and youths as part of the ongoing action to grow the economy and provide different skill-sets for people in the region.

The statement noted that “In this part of the world people are known to applaud the good works of their sons and daughters in public offices but regrettably, we find it unsettling and disturbing that despite the recorded milestones, the facetious petitions against the Interim Administrator are orchestrated by people from a particular ethnic group from two states in the region who share some affinity with him”.

‘’It is therefore surprising that the petitions and criticisms notwithstanding, the Presidential Amnesty Programme under General Ndiomu has recorded landmark successes with the PAP Cooperative Society legacy project, a well thought out scheme to provide financial empowerment through loans for those ex-agitators who are expected to apply for funds to enable them to grow and manage their personal businesses instead of building their futures around a meagre monthly stipend” it stated.

The Niger Delta Peace Advocates described those critics of General Ndiomu as selfish, greedy and unsatiated ingrates who see the Presidential Amnesty Programme as a cash cow and expects any chief executive officer to play ball with them in the spirit of business as usual or be disparaged and denigrated through public trial using the press, particularly the online media and bloggers as attack tools.

They flayed the culture of entitlement among some ethnic groups within the Niger Delta arguing that the mentality encourages indolence, unproductivity and in the long run hinders socio-economic growth in the region.

“The Presidential Amnesty Programme was established with a clear mandate to disarm, demobilize and reintegrate ex-agitators and it has run for more than fourteen years and if past chief executive officers who had huge resources had taken the initiatives introduced now by General Ndiomu, the majority of ex-agitators would have been successful drivers of the Niger Delta economy” the statement emphasized.

The Niger Delta Peace Advocates condemned the persistent, consistent and continuing campaigns of calumny against General Ndiomu who has however remained resolute in his resolve to do what is right and good for the ex-agitators while at the same time restoring the integrity and dignity of the PAP. “While we encourage him to excel and condemn those promoting the pull him down syndrome, we will not also hesitate to be critical of him though constructively, if he steps out of line” it added.