John ODHE, Yenagoa
The new Interim Administrator, Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), Maj.-Gen Barry Ndiomu (retd), has promised ex-agitators and other stakeholders of the scheme that he will discharge the functions of his office with accountability and transparency.
Speaking during his maiden interactions with some leaders of ex-agitators, Ndiomu said henceforth all activities in PAP would be subjected to periodic review in line with the mandate of the programme.
Describing the reintegration stage of PAP as critical, Ndiomu, in a statement signed by his Special Assistant on Media, Thomas Peretu, said he would create new channels to ensure constant dialogue with the programme beneficiaries and stakeholders in the Niger Delta region.
He vowed to pursue a managerial paradigm shift that would dismantle all the challenges hindering the programme and blocking exit routes of trained agitators.
Ndiomu explained that the programme was designed with an exit route for all trained and empowered ex-agitators adding that retaining same number of ex-agitators after 13 years of operation was against PAP’s mandate.
He said the government had been magnanimous enough to extend the life span of the programme to allow for peace and harmony in the region.
He, however, appealed to stakeholders to bear in mind that one day the programme would end as it did in other conflict zones especially in South America.
Ndiomu, however, said the programme would not be terminated abruptly in the interest of the prevailing peace in the Niger Delta region.
He said: “Maybe some day, the programme may transit or metamorphose into a more robust and sustainable initiative that will take into account the special needs of the people in the face of present dynamics of the region”, he said.
He appealed to the delegates and stakeholders in the Niger Delta to support his administration’s efforts to realise the mandate of PAP.
Ndiomu further promised to revive all the PAP vocational centres for massive deployment of ex-agitators for training and empowerment.
All the representatives of the various stakeholders at the meeting promised to support Ndiomu’s plans to actualise the mandate of PAP in the interest of the region.