Abuja—There is jubilation in the oil-rich Niger Delta following the decision of the Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government to rescind its earlier plans to terminate the Presidential Amnesty Programme, PAP.
The new Interim Administrator of the programme, Major General Barry Ndiomu (retd), confirmed the government’s new position at the weekend.
Ndiomu, in statement issued by PAP’s Media Consultant, Donu Kogbara, expressed gratitude towards the federal government for listening when he made it clear that critical stakeholders across the region were strongly opposed to the winding down of the programme.
The amnesty boss added that all responsible stakeholders nevertheless support change and share his view that the programme needs to be totally refocused and restructured.
He said the government weighed the arguments presented to them, based on their merits, and decided to suspend the planned shutdown.
Ndiomu said the federal government’s willingness to retrace its steps demonstrated the sensitivity of the federal government to issues affecting the Niger Delta.
The statement reads: “The Federal Government has heard the concerns of Niger Delta people and, with our best interests at heart, has decided to shelve an unwanted termination agenda and transform PAP into a more sanitized, transparent, efficient, robust and sustainable entity.
“The decision was taken after the feelings of stakeholders and people of the region were communicated to the government and proves that the Buhari’s administration will not do anything to jeopardize the peace in the Niger Delta.
“We call on all stakeholders to sustain the peace in the region and help the new administration reform, refocus and reposition the programme for optimum performance.”