Abuja—Ijaw National Leader, Pa Edwin Clark, the Interim Administrator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, retired Major General Barry Ndiomu, the Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) and many other prominent stakeholders from the region have vowed to improve the gains of PAP to entrench peace in the oil-rich region.
The stakeholders including the Ijaw National Congress (INC), ex-agitators, leaders and representatives of ethnic nationalities made the resolution after critically reviewing PAP, its benefits and challenges during a stakeholders’ meeting that took place in Pa Clark’s Abuja residence.
The leaders in a communique issued after their deliberation reaffirmed that PAP since its establishment had played a major role in bringing peace, security and stability to the Niger Delta region.
The programme has also provided the enabling environment for the peaceful conduct of oil and gas activities to the overall wellbeing of the national economy, they said.
The stakeholders called on the administration of President Bola Tinubu to accord special attention to PAP, which they said had remained a major booster to the critical oil and gas industry where the country earns most of its revenue.
According to them: “We note that the programme has carried out various training and reintegration programmes, and urge that this should be sustained with greater vigour and funding.
“We advise that the Presidential Amnesty Programme continues to be inclusive, to cover all properly accredited delegates and ensure that all ratified benefits are fully paid.
“We commend the Interim Administrator of the Programme on the new initiatives to deepen socio-economic impact through the establishment of the PAP Cooperative Scheme, and enjoins all beneficiaries to wholly embrace it.
“We call on the Federal Government to continue to improve the conditions for the implementation of the programme, as regards welfare of beneficiaries, due to the sharply changed economic circumstances, which are currently prevailing in the country.
“We urge the Interim Administrator to establish Liaison Offices in the concerned states for the purpose of ensuring effective implementation of activities connected with execution of this important programme.
“We agree on the need to establish an effective ‘single window liaison’ at the Headquarters of the Presidential Amnesty Programme for the purpose of resolving issues which are brought to the attention of the administrator”.
The leaders also called on youths of the Niger Delta to continue to embrace peace and work with the government to ensure effective implementation of PAP and other related efforts aimed at addressing the socio-economic and developmental challenges of the region.
The stakeholders further expressed appreciation to Clark and other leaders for their continued show of leadership and timely intervention in the matter and other issues affecting the Niger Delta.
Mangrovepen.ng gathered that some aggrieved ex-agitators, who attended the meeting, openly apologized to Ndiomu for the series of media attacks against him and the PAP.
They admitted that their incessant attacks on Ndiomu was borne out of frustration because of his reforms, which badly affected them, especially the stoppage of their monthly stipends.
The ex-agitators, however, noted that they had seen the gains of the reforms including the cooperative scheme that had become the game changer for them and other youths of the region.
In their separate remarks, Owoupele Eneoriekumoh, Omiundougha Richard, John Esuku, Ibena Rufus Salvation, Inko West Bright, Tam Odogwu, Aso Tambo, among others pledged to drop their grievances and work with Ndiomu for the overall interest of the Niger Delta.
Others who attended the meeting include Dr. Godknows Igali, Secretary of Board of Trustees (BOT), PANDEF; Dr. Alfred Mulade, National Secretary, PANDEF; Dr. Ken Robinson, National Publicity Secretary, PANDEF.
Dr. Prince Anyanate Kio, Leader, National Representative Council (NRC) of the Ijaw National Congress (INC) Worldwide; Engr. Ebi Wodu, National Secretary, Ijaw National Congress (INC) Worldwide; Ms Annkio Briggs and other critical stakeholders were equally in attendance.