Interim Administrator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), Major General Barry Ndiomu (retd), has disclosed that those peddling lies and sponsoring frivolous petitions against his administration, are resistant to the reforms and changes he has brought on board.
General Ndiomu stated this over the weekend during the PAP meeting with Niger Delta Traditional Rulers, held at the BON Hotel, Warri, Delta State, with the theme: ‘Peace and Security in the Region’.
The PAP boss told the monarchs who were led by HRM, King Joseph Timiyan, the Paramount Ruler of Ogulagha Kingdom, that if he had maintained status quo and allowed the “irregularities” discovered in capturing beneficiaries of the Programme to continue, he would have failed from the onset.
“It is difficult to bring about change when people are used to certain ways that brings them benefits, even if the ways does not conform with the purpose for which that Programme was set up in the first place”.
The PAP boss added that the decision to delist beneficiaries was geared towards sanitizing the system and ensure transparency going forward.
Speaking on the financial records of the PAP, Ndiomu informed that his administration has almost cleared inherited debts from past administrations.
He added that the PAP under his leadership has initiated talks with the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and other agencies to absolve graduates and non-graduates from the region. He said before the end of March this year, another set of ex-agitators will be employed into the Federal Civil Service.
The IA further told the monarchs that the PAP is leveraging on the Pipeline Surveillance Contract currently being handled by Tompolo’s Tantita Security Services, to absorb a critical number of ex-agitators.
In his brief remarks, King Timiyan who also doubles as the Chairman of Ijaw Traditional Rulers Forum, Delta State, regretted that past leaderships of the PAP dealt directly with ex-agitators without consulting them.
He thus commended Ndiomu for recognising the importance of royal fathers in the Amnesty process. “The current leadership of the Amnesty Programme is a bit different, and I think he (Ndiomu) is going to do better,” the monarch stated.
The traditional rulers jointly endorsed the capacity of Ndiomu, while they called for an open-door policy to allow for easy and “time-to-time” conversation. They also noted that his giant strides is the reason for “petitions flying up and down”.
Ndiomu’s latest meeting with traditional rulers in the region follows a series of strategic stakeholders engagement aimed at changing the negative narratives of the PAP.