Ndiomu receives PANDEF Executives

L-R- Major-Gen. Barry Tariye Ndiomu (rtd) Interim Administrator, PAP, National Chairman of PANDEF, and Senator Emmanuel Ibok Essien, during the PANDEF courtesy visit to the Amnesty office in Abuja on 18th November 2022.
…Says visit an opportunity to correct impressions about the programme
The Interim Adminstrator Presidential Amnesty Programme, Maj. Gen. Barry Ndiomu [rtd] received the Executive members of the Pan Nigeria Delta Forum [PANDEF], at the conference room of the Presidential Amnesty Programme in Abuja.
Ndiomu who was visibly elated at the visit of PANDEF as it provides an opportunity for him to state certain facts and correct some wrong  impressions about management actions.
“I was excited when I received the message that PANDEF executives are coming to visit us because it was an opportunity to correct some impressions, I believe our political leaders, those who are responsible for directing the pace of affairs in the Niger Delta have about the programme.
The IA said, he was given a clear directive by the government to wind down the programme at the time of his appointment.
‘’Let me begin by saying when I was appointed by the government, I was given a clear directive to wind down the system and the reason was that the programme itself was not to run forever. The model that dictated the establishment of this programme was borrowed from the United Nations; it is a model that has been applied in all conflict zones across the world to achieve certain objectives within a period of time.”
Maj. Gen. Ndiomu said that the Presidential Amnesty Programme was originally to terminate by 2015 from the inception in 2009.
‘’The President then in his wisdom decided that certain persons that were not captured should be captured, that brought about the concept of impacted communities and of course that has increased the number of the initial set of people disarmed and demobilized from about 20,000 to 30,000 now. What will interest you also is the fact that the figures even overshot the 30,000 threshold and there were a couple of challenges’’
Ndiomu also told the visiting PANDEF executives that on assumption of duty, he engaged with stakeholders  across the region and was able to identify lapses in the management of the programme.
‘’My personal engagement with the ex-agitators and other stakeholders revealed that the programme has not fully realized the objective for its formation. Therefore, the people would not accept its abrupt closure. And they made this position known in no uncertain terms.
“My interactions with the people brought to the fore these shortcomings which the government was not aware of and so it was now my duty to take this message back to governent and to say the programme has not quite achieved the objectives for which it was established.
‘’ ThankGod we have a responsible and decent administration, we must give them credit; they accepted and decided to suspend the idea of an abrupt end to the Amnesty Programme’’
He however assured the PANDEF team that the new management is working on re- engineering the programme in order to make it more sustainable in the interest of the ex-agitators. By the time we are through with the new initiative we are trying to put in place, the people will be happy for the innovations we are bringing to bear on the programme, he remarked.
The leader of the PANDEF delegation Sen. Emmanuel Ibok Essien congratulated the IA  on his appointment and expressed the goodwill of its members across the nine states of the Niger Delta region.
“The visit was in furtherance of their resolve to continuously engage with critical stakeholders including institutions like the PAP for the purpose of finding lasting peace in the region.”
He commended Ndiomu for his patriotism, forthrightness and courage by consulting with stakeholders and for listening and communicating the right feedback to government which led to the suspension of the initial directive.
The group pledged to work with the PAP in achieving its core objectives.
Lawson Alaenetonwa
Head Information, PAP