The Interim Administrator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) Major General Barry Ndiomu has told ex-agitators of the Niger Delta region to be appreciative of the Federal Government’s efforts and support towards sustaining the amnesty programme.

General Ndiomu who was speaking when he received the national exco of the Third Phase Ex-agitators of the amnesty programme in his office in Abuja, implored them to also cherish the efforts of the PAP management team for the innovations and initiatives it has introduced to address the welfare needs of beneficiaries in a sustainable manner.
The delegation was led by its National Chairman, Mr. Elaye Slaboh.

General Ndiomu noted the efforts of the Federal Government to fund the PAP adequately and consistently in the face of scarce resources amidst competing demands and said, “We need to understand that these are financially difficult times and knowing that the Federal Government is doing its best and the PAP administration is working with an unchanged budget in addressing the needs of the ex-agitators are efforts worth applauding”.

The Interim Administrator explained that the Presidential Amnesty Programme was not established as a social welfare programme for the Niger Delta but rather to address the needs of ex-agitators through formal and non-formal education, skills, and empowerment programmes to reintegrate them back into society.

General Ndiomu stated that “It is agreed the Programme derailed and this is being corrected through the various policy reform initiatives, but it is regrettable that some of the ex-agitators who are supposed to be direct beneficiaries of these policies are ignorantly supporting the old ways which failed to add value to the Programme”.

On the scholarship scheme, he assured that those ex-agitators who were interested in furthering their academics would be considered on merit since individual universities have spelt-out criteria for admitting students into various disciplines in their respective institutions.

The Interim Administrator however noted that considering the age of most ex-agitators, what would be more beneficial to them was an empowerment programme such as the PAP cooperative scheme designed to unlock their entrepreneurial potentials. “PACOSOL is deliberately designed to end over dependency and over reliance on monthly stipends. The cooperative is sustainable, and I will do my best to make it work for the good of beneficiaries.”

General Ndiomu expressed the hope that the Third Phase under Mr. Elaye Slaboh would usher in peace and show more understanding and enjoined those of them from states where the off-cycle elections will be holding this weekend not to allow themselves to be used and vote according to their conscience while eschewing the temptation to engage in acts inimical to democratic principles.

Earlier, National Chairman of Third Phase Ex-agitators, Mr Elaye Slaboh had intimated that the visit was to appreciate General Ndiomu for the good work he is doing as Interim Administrator in the Presidential Amnesty Programme. “The cooperative scheme is a novelty which has been widely accepted and more ex-agitators are eager to subscribe. Those who have received their loans have established businesses while others have upscaled their existing enterprises”.

Mr. Slaboh assured that the exco of the Third Phase Ex-agitators under the new leadership will work closely with the management team of the PAP to realize set objectives and take advantage of existing opportunities such as scholarships, empowerment, and training programmes to improve on the welfare of their members.

The group presented a plaque to General Ndiomu in recognition of his efforts in steering the Presidential Amnesty Programme towards safe Harbor.