Elders and Stakeholders from the Nine States of the Niger Delta region have written the federal government to appoint a new Interim Administrator of the Presidential Amnesty programme (PAP).
The stakeholders under the auspices of the Movement for the Sustainable Development of the Niger Delta (MSDND), in a letter addressed to National Security Adviser (NSA), Major General Babagana Mohammed Monguno (rtd.), said “there is an urgent need to have Major General Barry T. Ndiomu (rtd.), the substantive Chairman of the Special Investigative Panel on Oil Theft in the Niger Delta to focus on his herculean tasks in the Federal Government’s fight against crude oil theft to ensure the smooth operations of his eleven – man committee.”
The letter also revealed the “urgent need for the appointment of an Interim Administrator for the Presidential Amnesty programme to avoid the programme’s derailment from its mandates due to neglect of official duties and responsibilities, and lack of concentration emanating from the double-portfolio given to Ndiomu.”
In the letter dated 3rd of February 2023, and signed by the Convener of the MSDND, Chief Ayebatekena J. Olodi and its Secretary-General, Chief Godwin Pere-Ebikabowei, the stakeholders said this will allow the current Interim administrator of the Presidential Amnesty Program (PAP), who doubles as the Substantive Chairman of the Special Investigative Panel on Oil Theft in the Niger Delta region to focus on carrying out his task as the head of the eleven man-committee of the Special Investigative Panel on Oil Theft in the Niger Delta.
According to the group, this will enable the eleven-man committee to operate without any distractions from the “over 30,000 ex-militants, staff, and thousands of stakeholders from across the nine (9) states of the Niger Delta region.”
The group therefore pleaded “in-light of the unfolding, scary and scandalous revelations emanating from the office of the Group Chief Executive Officer (GCEO) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited (NNPCL), Mr. Mele Kyari, to the effect that Nigeria loses a staggering sum of $1.9 billion USD monthly to oil theft. This revelation is not only mind-boggling but calls for urgent and proactive measures by the government of President Muhammadu Buhari to stem this ugly tide before insolvency sets in.”
“Sir, our nation should not be losing $1.9billion USD monthly to crude oil thieves. Therefore, given that our nation’s security and livelihood is at stake, we urgently call on you to use your good office to empower Major General Barry T. Ndiomu (rtd.) – the Substantive Chairman of the Special Investigative Panel on Oil Theft in the Niger Delta region to focus on his herculean tasks in our nation’s fight against crude oil theft to ensure the smooth operations of his eleven-man committee without any distractions from over 30,000 ex-militants, staff, and thousands of stakeholders from across the nine (9) states of the Niger Delta region.”
“Based on these facts, we the Movement for the Sustainable Development of the Niger Delta hereby submit this urgent petition to your office to beseech you into using your good office to recommend someone with proven track record from the Niger Delta region to President Muhammadu Buhari for appointment as the Interim Administrator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme because the affairs of the PAP are being neglected and the PAP is in dire need of a visionary leader.”
“The appointment of Maj. Gen. Barry T. Ndiomu (rtd.) – the Substantive Chairman to head the Special Investigative Panel on Oil Theft in the Niger Delta region was greeted with fanfare without a cursory look into the challenges confronting the Presidential Amnesty Programme. The Presidential Amnesty Programme was founded in 2009 with a clear mandate aimed at addressing militant activities in the Niger Delta region and to shore-up oil production level which was at 700,000 bpd when Nigeria as a nation almost went bankrupt.”
The group also observed that the current pause on the Presidential Amnesty scholarships and several other issues such as nonpayment of monthly stipend arrears, training of ex-agitators and many other are as a result of the dual office held by the current interim administrator.
“Today, the nation rakes in more petrol-dollar, no thanks to the Presidential Amnesty Programme. Presently, the 2022/2023 academic session have not witnessed any deployment of Amnesty beneficiaries and the door for admission into higher institutions of learning have been shut against prospective students. This seemingly unfortunate incident is traceable to the dual official responsibilities being handled by Gen. Ndiomu (rtd.).
“Besides academic issues, there are several matters ranging from non-payment of monthly stipends arrears, programme restructuring, staff welfare, training and empowerment of ex-agitators that have been abandoned.
“Sir, the country at present cannot meet its OPEC quota of 1.99 barrel per day because of economic saboteurs and the Presidential Amnesty Programme at this critical time in history cannot be left fallow. The Amnesty Programme requires the knowledge and expertise of a very dispassionate individual who can appreciate the journey so far. There is no gainsaying that the Amnesty Programme under the current leadership cannot record any meaningful achievement. Therefore, committing Maj. Gen. Barry T. Ndiomu (rtd.) to the investigative assignment of deterring Oil Thieves will be a better option in the present circumstances.”
They therefore ask the National Security Adviser, Babagana Mongunu, to recommend someone to replace the current Interim Administrator of PAP.
“Finally, as the National Security Adviser who supervises the Presidential Amnesty Programme, we beseech you to use your good office to recommend someone with a proven track record from the Niger Delta region to President Muhammadu Buhari for appointment as the Interim Administrator – Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP).”
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