Amnesty programme now refocused, says group, lauds Buhari for appointing Ndiomu

Lagos—A group, Niger Delta Rights Assembly (NDRA), has stated that the appointment of Major General Barry Ndiomu (rtd) as the Interim Administrator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) is a blessing to the oil-rich Niger Delta region and the country in general.

This was contained in a statement issued in Lagos on Tuesday, April 18, 2023, and signed by its president, Chief Israel Bokromo.

The group thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for “overlooking primordial sentiments and self-serving lobbyists in his choice of Ndiomu” whom it said has brought “sanity and order into the Programme.”

The NDRA which comprises mainly

Made up of youths drawn from across the Niger Delta states, the NDRA also commended Ndiomu for courageously tackling the challenges facing the Amnesty Programme.

The statement reads in part: “We wish to thank President Muhammadu Buhari for appointing a true Niger Delta son in retired Major-General Barry Tariye Ndiomu as Interim Administrator of Amnesty Programme.

“We recognize the pressure mounted on President Buhari to discontinue the Programme by persons who do not mean well for the nation and Niger Delta people in particular. The President did not only snub the lobbyists, he appointed Ndiomu, a man of proven military discipline and integrity.

“We wish to place on record that Ndiomu’s appointment is not misplaced. Since his arrival at the Amnesty office, he has allowed an audit of the Programme’s activities which has exposed several fraudulent activities.

“He brought a regime of reforms that has helped to block the leakages and conduits through which many criminal-minded persons have been profiting and stealing money meant for the genuine ex-militants,” the statement said.

NDRA lauded the Buhari-led government for involving critical stakeholders in the Niger Delta in maintaining peace and ensuring security of oil and gas infrastructure, as well as stemming the tide of stolen crude in the creeks.

“We note that the involvement of stakeholders like Mr. Government Ekpemupolo (alias Tompolo) to secure oil and gas infrastructure in the creeks was a masterstroke that has significantly reduced the incidence of oil theft,” the group added.

The group insisted that the culture of probity, accountability and transparency instituted by Ndiomu is yielding anticipated results especially the exposure of monumental fraud bordering on flawed payment systems and contract inflation.

NDRA listed some of Ndiomu’s achievements to include: earning the confidence and support of President Buhari, timely payment of monthly allocations, sustaining peace in the region leading to increased production of crude oil at an average of 1.67million barrels per day, new policy initiatives on cooperative, completion of 5 vocational training centres and data sanitization to verify genuine ex agitators, inter alia.

The group maintained that in barely six months, “Ndiomu has saved the PAP over N1.5 billion inflated contracts and has effectively positioned the Programme towards achieving its core mandate of addressing the needs of ex-militants rather than meeting the needs of a few emergency contractors who lack both competence and capacity.”

The group urged the incoming government to sustain the culture of probity and fiscal responsibility instituted by Ndiomu to stave off agitations in the future.

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