Ex-Agitators under the aegis of the Niger Delta Amnesty Delegates Network has cried out to the Interim Administrator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme PAP, Major Gen. Barry Tariye Ndiomu (Rtd), to quickly come to their rescue over the lingering backlog of arrears and monthly stipends owed them over the years.
The group also threw their weight behind Ndiomu and the Amnesty Office, expressing satisfaction over the way and manner he has been running the affairs of the office and the programme, within the past eight months.
The statement was made available to the media in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, over the weekend, after a crucial meeting of stakeholders drawn from Bayelsa/Rivers/Delta/Edo/Akwa Ibom/Cross Rivers and Ondo states, to appraise the progress of the programme.
Signed by its Chairman, Comrade Owoupele Eneorie, the statement urged Ndiomu to quickly do something to salvage the plight of the beneficiaries whose stipends had been stopped, from 2010/2011/2014/2015/2016 till date.
Stressing that the monthly stipends serve as a life-saving assistance from the Federal Government to those who genuinely embraced the programme, he said many desperately need it.
They pointed out that the money being released monthly to the Amnesty Office, never gets to them.
“Therefore, we the (Network) are asking the federal government to pay the beneficiaries directly through the CBN. However, we are ready to prove that these affected beneficiaries are eligible and have not been receiving their monthly stipends for the last twelve (12) years.
“They are delegates that were properly documented and captured, since the inception of the programme and we are ready to tender proofs of their documentation,” he added.
According to the statement, Ndiomu has brought forward an accumulated wealth of experience in the military and as a lawyer to bear on his new assignment.
They added that, all hands must be on deck in order to ensure the success of the programme.
The group also expressed optimism that Ndiomu would correct the errors observed in the programme, and consolidate on the gains of his stay in office.
The group noted that former President Shehu Yar’Adua granted Presidential Amnesty, under section 175, of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), to the Niger Delta agitators.
They therefore urged the Amnesty Office to carry beneficiaries of the programme along in their activities.
They claimed that some so-called leaders of the programme had short-changed some beneficiaries with their BVNs, which according to the group is against banking rules.
The statement further observed that, some disgruntled and unscrupulous elements in the system and outside had been sponsoring a negative media campaign against the Interim Administrator of PAP, calculated to discredit and distract him.
“We advise him to be careful with all those enemies of the programme and the region,” they said.
The group also maintained that its members had vowed not to go back to the creeks to engage in kidnapping, pipeline vandalism, sea piracy and the running of illegal refineries.
They thus called on the international communities, Federal Government, security agencies and stakeholders in the region to give him maximum support to succeed, due to his clear policy agenda for the programme and the region and the country at large.