Sylvester Idowu in Warri
An advocacy group in Niger Delta region, South South Reawakening Group (SSRG), has called on President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to confirm Major General Barry Ndiomu (rtd) as the substantive coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme for bringing innovations that re-positioned the establishment to achieve its set goals.
The Convener of SSRG, Mr. Joseph Ambakederimo, said in a statement he issued yesterday that General Ndiomu has performed creditably well and therefore deserved to be appreciated with the substantive confirmation of his appointment so as to further encourage him to do more for his people.
Ambakederimo, who is also the chairman of the board of trustees of Community Development Committees of Niger Delta Oil and Gas Producing Areas, disclosed that in recent times, the Presidential Amnesty Program (PAP) had witnessed unprecedented efficiency in terms of administration, policy implementation and monitoring due to the vast experience of its current coordinator.
He said: “The innovative strides that has been brought to the management of the amnesty programme by General Barry Tariye Ndiomu is the distinction necessary for his confirmation as the substantive coordinator of the PAP, which is long overdue.
“There must be a reward for those whom have excelled in their areas of endeavour. General Barry Ndiomu has made successes that should be rewarded and the reward is for President Bola Tinubu to confirm him as the substantive coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme.”
The SSRG attributed one of the successes recorded so far under the leadership of Ndiomu as the establishment of the Presidential Amnesty Cooperative Society Fund, which is headed by a retired Supreme Court Judge, Justice Tabai, which comes as a buffer for post amnesty livelihood.
“It may interest Nigerians to know that the Interim Administrator, General Barry Ndiomu, is not a signatory to the account of the fund. There is funding mechanism for a robust management of the reintegration portion of the programme which is the most critical part of the programme.
“Also viewed by many as a masterstroke is the restructured and timely payment of scholarship to beneficiaries; the continued training of participants in core areas of needs and many other achievements made in a short period confirms the retired general is well equipped to deliver as expected.
“Therefore it is the opinion of the Board of Trustees and Management of the Community Development Committees of Niger Delta Oil and Gas Producing Areas, that there should be less political interference in the management of this laudable programme, in order for the innovations brought under the current leadership headed by General Barry Ndiomu to crystallise.
“Nigerians should be reminded that the issues that gave birth to the amnesty programme still stare us in the face, although the very critical issue of armed struggle has been eliminated, many demobilised persons have earned various skills and others have become graduates in diverse fields of endeavour.
“The reintegration portion of the programme is what is in focus and should be followed through to its logical conclusion therefore the political will and support from the Federal government is need for the current leadership to be sustained to drive the reintegration which is the focus of General Ndiomu,” it added.
The group, however, called for increase funding of the programme to allow for upward review of the payment of the stipend to participants of the programme due to the current global economic realities which Nigeria is not immune to, and also adequate funding for the various laudable policies and programmes of the agency.