…calls on incoming administration to continue programme
London—Popular rights activist, Ms. Ann-Kio Briggs has commended the Interim Administrator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), Major General Barry Tariye Ndiomu (rtd) for his efforts in repositioning the programme.
She particularly commended him for the well-thought-out plan to complete the various PAP training centres, saying it will facilitate the training and empowerment of more youths from the Niger Delta.
The activist who made this known in an exclusive phone interview with our reporter insisted that if the training centres are up and running, ex-agitators would have a befitting shelter for their various empowerment programmes.
She agreed with Ndiomu that so much has been spent on renting training centres and that such funds would have been saved and used for other things if the PAP training centres were fully functional.
She however urged him to expedite action in the training centre in Rivers State, located in Obuama (Harry’s Town) because of the strategic maritime importance.
“Rivers State is a key factor of what goes on in the Niger Delta region. We have training centers in Bayelsa, Delta, Ondo and Edo states but I believe the one in River State should be kicked off before Buhari leaves office,” she said.
Ms. Briggs who opposed the abuse of the PAP reminisced on the early days of the Niger Delta struggle where “people lost their lives, mothers lost their children, mothers lost their sons, women lost their husbands for the Amnesty program to be achieved.”
She also called on Ndiomu to speak for the release of Niger Deltans particularly Ijaw sons who are still in jail in South Africa and Nigeria because of the Niger Delta agitation.
Her words, “General Ndiomu who is also a son of the soil, knows about the region, he knows our problems, he knows the problems that the youth have faced.”
Ms. Briggs appreciated Ndiomu for the prompt payment of stipends and arrears to delegates and contractors.
She averred that unemployed youths in the Niger Delta should be carried along “based on what they will contribute to the system of governance in Nigeria.”
While calling on the incoming administration not to end the Amnesty Programme because of its numerous benefits to the country, Briggs also advised Ndiomu to have a robust relationship with every stakeholder in the Niger Delta region.