An open letter to Major General Barry Ndiomu (rtd.), New Interim Administrator, Presidential Amnesty Programme

An open letter to Major General Barry Ndiomu (rtd.), New Interim Administrator, Presidential Amnesty Programme

An open letter to Major General Barry Ndiomu (rtd.), New Interim Administrator, Presidential Amnesty Programme

By GbaramatuVoice Editorial Board

Dear sir,

Members of the Editorial Board, GbaramatuVoice Newspaper, writes to congratulate you on your recent appointment as the Interim Coordinator, Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP).

While the newspaper congratulates you for this feat achieved, it equally seized this opportunity to remind you that like success which brings new problems and opportunities, the appointment has made you both lucky and unlucky.

You are lucky because you have been appointed to what is called in Nigeria palace ‘’an exalted position’’, but unlucky because, the appointment has thrust yet another responsibility on you; an extremely important destiny; to complete a process of socio-economic rejuvenation of the Niger Delta region and empowerment of its teaming youths which has taken far too long a time to do.

Without doubt, your predecessors made some advancement. Impressively also, you have started on a very good footing with your recent decision to meet with all the stakeholders.

But despite these successes, there are also great disappointments which will be highly rewarding if you devote time to tackle them.

As an illustration, stakeholders are worried about some aspects of the programme. They would appreciate it if you provide information as to: How long the Presidential Amnesty Programme was originally structured to last? How many ex-agitators were initially enlisted for the programme? How many have been trained? How many are still undergoing training? What stage is the programme; disarmament and demobilization process, rehabilitation/training processes or the Strategic Implementations/ Action Plan for the holistic development of Niger Delta as a region?

How many ex-agitators are still receiving training? How many are currently receiving allowances? What is the amount? Is it the same amount approved right in 2008 or has it been reviewed? What is the fate of those that were youthful then, but today mature adults with families? Are they still dependent on the stipend as approved in 2008 or has the Amnesty Office reviewed such allowances upward to accommodate their new status?

While providing answers/clarifications to the above raised concerns will in the interim assist calm frayed nerves, other areas of importance that need your urgent attention to address are: First, the perceived corruption allegation against some PAP staff members. Second are the activities of ‘’admission rackets and backdoor merchants’’ in connivance with insiders connections at PAP. Thirdly, there is also this worry in some quarters that your predecessors neither carried the stakeholders along nor connected with the teaming youth in the Niger Delta states who are the real beneficiaries of the programme.

To move forward and achieve the targeted objectives, the GbaramatuVoice urges you to study history, study the actions of your predecessors, to see how they conducted themselves and to discover the reasons for their victories or their defeats so that you can avoid the later and imitate the former.

Most importantly, you must not ignore the stakeholders but carry them along in every decision you make. You need to empower/address youth unemployment challenges in the region, especially those who were trained by PAP but are currently without jobs.

You must do this not for political reasons but for the survival and development of the Niger Delta region.

GbaramatuVoice Editorial Board

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