Ex-agitators from first, second and third phases of the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) have called on security agencies to unmask the identities of “enemies of the Niger Delta” blackmailing PAP’s Interim Administrator, Maj.-Gen. Barry Ndiomu.
The ex-agitators recalled that they earlier raised the alarm that enemies of the region had launched a campaign of calumny against President Muhammadu Buhari, the National Security Adviser (NSA) and Ndiomu to discredit their achievements in PAP.
The ex-agitators’ joint statement was signed on Monday by the Chairman, Presidential Amnesty Strategic Communication Committee (STRACOM), Mr. Nature Dumale and the National President, first phase Ex-agitators; HRH Henry Ekes, Ovuru the 1st (aka Egbema 1).
The stakeholders in the statement, which was also signed by Heads of First Phase Ex-Agitators, Rivers, Granville Ideye; Bayelsa, Ebite Ifiemi; Second Phase, Sylvester Tambo and National Chairman, Third Phase, Gen. Tonye Bobo, described the attack against Ndiomu as criminal and unwarranted.
Dumale, who read the statement in Port Harcourt, said in their recent antics, the detractors circulated a report claiming that the Niger Delta elders and traditional rulers petitioned Buhari and asked for the suspension of Ndiomu over alleged corrupt practices.
He said names contained in the report were fictitious and could neither be traced to any elder nor traditional ruler in the Niger Delta.
Dumale insisted that all the allegations contained in the report were as fictitious, false and preposterous as the faceless individuals making the claims.
He said: “The only interpretation to the action of these faceless individuals and groups is that they are desperately trying to stoke crisis in the Niger Delta.
“They want the Buhari’s administration to further lose credibility by targeting the only region that has remained peaceful despite the turbulence and separatist agitations in other parts of the country.
“Using the revered traditional institutions to make false claims about one of the most illustrious sons of the Niger Delta like Ndiomu is criminal and blackmail taking too far. This is why we are calling on security agencies to investigate these characters, unmask their identities and arrest them”.
Dumale said all ex-agitators were behind Ndiomu and his efficient management of the amnesty programme especially after all their investigations into allegations levelled against him gave him a clean bill of health.
He said traditional rulers in the Niger Delta, elders, chiefs and other stakeholders had also thrown their weight behind Ndiomu for sanitising PAP and sustaining the peace in the region.
Dumale said: “We, again, warn that we, the owners of PAP, will not fold our arms and allow few unscrupulous elements, whose source of corrupt enrichment in PA, had been blocked by Ndiomu’s ongoing reforms, to continue to stoke crisis in the region.
“As we strive to unmask the identities of these people and their sponsors, we are calling on the Inspector-General of Police, the National Intelligence Agency, the Department of State Security and other security agencies to go after them.
“The scaremongering of these agents of darkness is designed to cause riot, disrupt the mainstay of the country’s resources and disorganise the forthcoming elections in the region.
“These people are crisis merchants, who only make money by instigating violence. They derive pleasure to see people die. They sponsor protests and cash in on violent agitation for relevance.
“We call on members of the public to disregard these allegations. PAP has monthly budget of N5bn, which covers stipends for all ex-agitators, overhead cost and other expenses. How can one still steal the kind of money contained in the allegations of these people?”
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