A renowned socio-cultural pressure group in the Niger Delta region, has called on the National Security Adviser NSA to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Nuhu Ribadu to return the Presidential Amnesty Programme PAP to Presidential Amnesty Committee PAC.
Movement for the Survival of Izon Ethnic Nationality in the Niger Delta MOSIEND, believe that the return of PAP to PAC would guarantee efficiency.
MOSIEND also appealed to Ribada to confirm the PAP Interim Administrator, Major-General Barry Ndiomu (retd) as chairman of Presidential Amnesty Committee.
The pan Niger Delta group made this appeal in a statement by the National President, Mr. Kennedy Tonjo-West.
Tonjo-West who also reacted to the alleged maltreatment of an ex-agitator, Pere Ebidowei, from Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, said, “MOSIEND is calling on the National Security Adviser to reposition the programme by reintroducing the Presidential Amnesty Committee PAC than PAP.
“Also, we are appealing to the federal government for improvement; Improvement in the area of funding. Right from the time of Kingsley Kuku, the budget of the PAP has not been reviewed upward, despite inflation in the prices of goods and services.
“I want the National Security Adviser to look critically into these issues, it is time for the budget of the Amnesty Programme to be reviewed to meet present realities of Nigeria and the global trends.”
MOSIEND, while insisting on the reintroduction of PAC, stressed that, “The only way Mr. Nuhu Ribadu can get it right is to return PAP to its original status, ensure the immediate upgrade and review through a supplementary budget which we know President Tinubu will not object to.
“Of course, it was absurd to run the programme with the budget that was prepared by Hon. (Dr.) Kingsley Kuku nine years ago, which is largely responsible for problems the programme is facing, no thanks to Maj. Gen. Mungunu, former NSA who out of desperation to shut down the programme at all cost was blind to see the havoc wrecked on the programme by his unpopular policy.”
On the alleged maltreatment of Ebidowei, MOSIEND national president vehemently condemned the supposed act and called on PAP to reconcile and update its records to check double payment rather than delisting some ex-agitators, as claimed.
Tonjo-West claimed that, “one Pere Ebidowei was beaten by soldiers at the Presidential Amnesty office in Abuja due to delisting of names of some ex-agitators which he is also affected.
“Omitting some names by Presidential Amnesty Programme will cause frustration on the beneficiaries and force them to go into kidnapping, armed robbery, sea piracy, pipeline vandalism, oil theft, cultism and other vices which may have adverse effects on the economics of people of the Niger Delta.
“It would be better for the Presidential Amnesty to be sanitized so that those receiving multiple salaries would be checked, this will stop the incessant demonstrations against the Interim Administrator.
“There is no reason shifting the blames in the PAP records to the Interim Administrator, but imbibe on due process in the payments. MOSIEND attributes the horrible events at PAP office to poor funding of the programme by the federal government.”
The MOSIEND leader further urged ex-agitators and other stakeholders to be, “diplomatic and always follow due process, being a Niger Deltan is not a yardstick for one to disobey constituted authorities and challenging military men on duties.
“We want to also condemn the manner the incident was hyped, even as it was reported that Pere Ebidowei was beaten to death by uniform men.”