Amnesty: Ex-Agitators laud FG, pledge continuous peace in Niger Delta

Niger Delta ex-agitators have commended the federal government for the impact of the Presidential Amnesty programme (PAP) on youths of the area and therefore pledged to ensure that the prevailing peace in the once restive region is sustained.

Speaking in Calabar, Tuesday, during a one-day delegates’ interactive session which saw a good number of them drawn from Niger Delta States taking part, the ex-agitators said the introduction of the cooperative scheme and the repositioning of the scholarship and vocational training were impacting Niger Delta youths positively.

Ibena Rufus, National Spokesman, Phase 2 Leaders Forum, in his remarks, said “the amnesty programme started with disarmament and it was successful, again the demobilization was a huge success but where we had issues was in the area of re-integration in which no PAP administrator had been able tackle.

“But the current interim administrator, Maj Gen Tariye Barry Ndiomu (rtd), has demonstrated capacity especially in the area of re-integration. He has restructured the programme by taking it back to the owners. Beneficiaries do not rely only on the N65,000 monthly stipend but are benefitting from the cooperative scheme to stand on their feet.

“Today, all leaders and beneficiaries of the amnesty programme are very happy with the interim administrator and have vowed to ensure peace reign in the Niger Delta. We are calling on President Bola Tinubu to reappoint this man. Peace in Niger Delta is the peace of Nigeria.”

Also speaking, Olotu Wanemi, National Chairman, PAP Phase 2, said 30,000 beneficiaries of the Amnesty Programme were happy with PAP administrator especially with the introduction of the cooperative loan scheme.

Aso Tambo, who introduced himself as the ‘General of the Niger Delta Struggle,’ said “since the arrival of Maj Gen Ndiomu as Interim Administrator, we have seen real transformation and we are happy.”

In an interview, Major Marshal Akpor, who represented the Interim Administrator of the programme said that amongst other life-transforming gesture, the Major General Ndiomu (rtd)’s tenure has established the Presidential Amnesty Cooperative Society Ltd through which ex-agitators get soft loans to establish businesses of their choice.

On his part, Head of Reintegration, PAP, Mr Wilfred Musa, said “the scholarship is the most robust in the country,” and therefore expressed satisfaction that ex-agitators were embracing the scheme wholeheartedly.