The Federal Government has been forewarned against abandoning the Presidential Amnesty Programme, or PAP, by the leading sociocultural organization of the Ijaw ethnic group, Ijaw National Congress, INC, under the direction of Prof. Benjamin Okaba.
Ezonebi Oyakemeagbegha, INC’s national publicity secretary, issued a statement warning that the elimination of PAP would amount to young people trying to return to the Niger Delta’s earlier days of insurgency.
It is important to keep in mind that the PAP, which was created after the former agitators laid down their weapons in 2009, has significantly improved uninterrupted oil exploration and extraction in the Niger Delta.
“While congratulating and applauding Maj-Gen Barry Ndiomu (retd) on his appointment as the Interim Administrator of PAP, INC said it was deserving, considering the vast experience in command and staff duties acquired by Ndiomu during his service in the Nigerian Army.
“INC also commended President Muhammadu Buhari for the appointment and expressed confidence in the capacity of the appointee to deliver on the mandate of the Programme.
“However, INC strongly advised Ndiomu not to play to the gallery but uphold the tenet and vision behind the programme and strive to handle the task as a huge responsibility placed on his shoulders with utmost diligence to take the Amnesty programme to the next level.
“INC, meanwhile, enjoined the Federal Government to seek ways to strengthen the Amnesty programme and make it more relevant to the ex-agitators, the impacted communities and Niger Delta in general.”