FG mulls closure of PAP in six months

Posted by News Express | 2 October 2022 | 249 times

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There are signs the Federal Government has given the newly appointed Interim Administrator, Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) Maj.-Gen. Barry Ndiomu (retd) a brief to end the scheme within six months.

Multiple sources close to Ndiomu confirmed that the interim administrator was mandated to close the programme and scrap the amnesty office on or before April 2023.

It was learnt that as part of the mandate, Ndiomu’s letter of appointment was designed to expire in six months unlike his predecessor, Col. Milland Dixon Dikio (retd), who enjoyed two terms of one year each.

Dikio was said to have fallen out with the system when he refused the offer to end the programme and opted to transmute it to the Niger Delta Stabilization Programme (NDSP).

Dikio, few days before he was dropped, explained that the NDSP if implemented would focus on youngsters in the region and evolve activities to take their minds away from drug abuse, criminality, militancy to ensure permanent peace in the Niger Delta.

But the Federal Government was reportedly uninterested in NDSP, insisting that PAP had served out its usefulness and should be ended to stop the negative image it cast on the country and the Niger Delta.

The late former President, Musa Yar’Adua, proclaimed amnesty for the Niger Delta militants in 2009 to end arm struggle initiated by the youths in protest against marginalization and injustice meted on the region by the Federal Government.

The proclamation led to the establishment of the Amnesty Office with a mandate to run a Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration programme for reorientation of the ex-militants, empowering and integrating them into the society.

The source, however, said the PAP boss was in dilemma over the request following an anticipated backlash it would cause in the region.

The source, who spoke in confidence, said: “The new Interim administrator of PAP has been given a brief by the Federal Government to end the programme in six months. His appointment letter is for the duration of six months. He has received a marching order from the government”.

Already, stakeholders were said to be expressing mixed feelings over the development with many condemning such mandate and others saying that PAP was no longer useful to the region.

Though efforts to reach reach the PAP boss failed, many sources, who recently interacted with Ndiomu confirmed the development.

One of them confirmed that the amnesty boss had scheduled a meeting with the Big Five comprising five commanders of the defunct Movememt for Emancipation of Niger Delta (MEND).

The big are the Amayanabo of Okochiri in Okirika, Rivers State; King Ateke Tom; Chief Government Ekpemupolo alias Tompolo; Victor Ben Ebikabowei aka Boyloaf and High Chief Ajube Bibopiri popularly called Shoot-at-Sight.

The source said: “Ndiomu has scheduled a meeting with the Big Five this week and he may use the opportunity to tell them the new development and hear them out”. (The Nation)

Source: News Express

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