The Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) is experiencing a new lease of life under the pragmatic and dynamic leadership of the Interim Administrator, Maj-Gen. Barry Ndiomu (rtd).
Appointed in September 2022, Ndiomu has steadily been making great progress to put the amnesty programme back on the right trajectory. He has not only shown capacity but an uncommon determination and zeal.
His modest achievement is not a surprise to many who have followed him for years. In all the positions he has held, he has left no one in doubt that he is a performer. He had a sterling career as a military officer rising to the enviable rank of a five star General.
Upon his appointment, he declared that he was going to do everything to reposition the programme. In a recent interview he said “When I took over in September 2022, I discovered that the programme had been drifting away from the core objectives of why it was established. I have to redirect the vision towards the initial concept, which is essentially to build the capacity of the teeming restive youths in the region”.
Recall that the Presidential Amnesty Program (PAP) was established in 2009, after youths of the Niger Delta involved in armed struggle and militancy voluntarily surrendered their arms. The deal was to ensure that all those who genuinely took the amnesty oath and repented were fully reintegrated back into the society.
The overall objective/vision of the Programme was to transform the ex-agitators into entrepreneurs and to employable citizens who would become net-contributors to the economy of the Niger Delta in particular and the country in general through effective collaboration with relevant public and private institutions and state governments in the region.
Sadly, and for some reasons there was a turn around. The programme began to head in the wrong direction. It was for this reason perhaps that former President Muhammadu Buhari decided to bring in someone with the right vision, competence and operational experience to supervise the PAP and navigate it out of turbulence.
Ndiomu, has made consultation and constant engagement with stakeholders as a cardinal point of his administration. His periodic interface with traditional rulers, leadership of the ex-agitators community, heads of pan-ijaw bodies and other leaders of thought has been a game changer.
When he realized that payroll fraud was one of the things inhibiting the growth of the PAP, Ndiomu launched a timely and comprehensive probe not to witch-hunt anyone but to sanitize the system. As it was expected, the preliminary result of the ongoing verification showed how some people have been defrauding the system.
His bravery to confront the multiple fraud in the PAP and block leakages has earned him more accolades. But his traducers and by extension, enemies of the Niger Delta are seriously fighting back. It was expected, their “cocoa farm” has been closed.
But the ex-General is too focused to be distracted. He is moving with the speed of light, doing what he knows how to do best, putting his adversaries to shame with performance. The more low they go, the higher he goes.
The recently launched Cooperative Scheme for ex-agitators is a good example. Expectedly, mischief and ignorance has made them to criticize it. Soon, they will be put to shame when the scheme begin to produce new set of millionaires in the Niger Delta.
Generally, Ndiomu’s administration has been responsive to the hopes and aspirations of ex-agitators. He has made prompt payment of their monthly stipends, as another hallmark.
His accessibility, accountability, prudence, efficiency and effectiveness, just to mention a few also constitute major features of his administration.
Sampling opinions of hundreds of youths of the Niger Delta Region by Tracknews Media Ltd revealed that Major-General Barry Tariye Ndiomu has done relatively well in office as the Interim Administrator of the PAP.
From across the states in the Niger Delta Region, interviewing both beneficiaries and non beneficiaries of the PAP, it has continually become crystal clear that those attacking the PAP boss are doing so out of their selfish interest and their position does not represent that of majority of people of the Niger Delta Region.
Ndiomu remains the right man for the job as he has continually stood for the good of all beneficiaries of the PAP and the people of the Niger Delta.
The Niger Delta youths interviewed generally calls on the powers that be to give Ndiomu the time and space to execute his plans for the ex-agitators and advised the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria not to listen to blackmailers and naysayers who are bent at sabotaging his works.