June 8, 2024

Central News

at the center of it

Niger Delta: Stakeholders thumb up PAP management

Critical stakeholders in the Niger Delta have lauded the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) for bringing relative and sustainable peace for oil and gas activities to thrive in the region.

They have unanimously commended the programme, saying the situation had positively impacted the overall wellbeing of the national economy.

Their resolve formed part of the communiqué issued on Thursday at the end of a meeting of leaders of the Niger Delta region with Phases 1, 2 and 3 of PAP beneficiaries in Abuja, which took place on Aug. 21.

The resolutions were jointly adopted by elder statesman and South-South leader Chief Edwin Clark, PAP interim dministrator Maj.-Gen. Barry Ndiomu (retd), representatives of the Pan-Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) and the Ijaw National Congress (INC).

Ex-agitators and other prominent stakeholders of the Niger Delta region were also part of the resolution.

They reaffirmed that the programme, which was instituted by late ex-President Umaru Yar’Adua in 2009, had played a major role in bringing peace, security and stability to the Niger Delta, which at the time was challenged by an upsurge of militant activities.

The meeting provided a platform for the stakeholders to critically review the workings of the PAP since its inception with participants, especially representatives of the beneficiaries also sharing their thoughts on various existing challenges and the way forward.

In commending the PAP interim helsman on new initiatives to deepen socio-economic impact through the establishment of the PAP Co-operative Scheme, they enjoined all beneficiaries to “wholly embrace it.”

They noted that the PAP had carried out various training and reintegration initiatives and urged that the Programme be sustained with “greater vigour and funding”.

The stakeholders also affirmed that the PAP interim administrator had demonstrated great administrative capacity and competence since assuming office in October 2022.

They urged youths of the Niger Delta to sustainably embrace peace and work with the government to ensure effective implementation of the PAP initiatives aimed at addressing the socio-economic and developmental challenges of the region.

Conversely, the stakeholders called on the federal government to accord special attention to the programme, which according to them, had remained a major booster to the critical oil and gas industry, from which the country earns most of its revenue.

Calls were also made for the amnesty programme to “be inclusive, to cover all properly-accredited delegates, and improve conditions for its implementation, as regards welfare of beneficiaries” in line with current economic realities of the country.

Meanwhile, Ndiomu has been urged to establish liaison offices in the Niger Delta states, to ensure effective implementation of PAP initiatives, with creation of a “single window liaison” at the PAP headquarters “for the purpose of resolving issues brought before the PAP management.”

On the criticisms of the PAP leadership, the beneficiaries (delegates of phases 1, 2 and 3) at the meeting, apologised and pleaded for clemency, blaming the situation on misinformation.

Representatives of beneficiaries at the meeting were, Owoupele Eneoriekumoh, Omiundougha Richard, John Esuku, Ibena Salvation, Inko Bright, Tam Odogwu, Aso Tambo, Delta Dede, and Olotu Wanemi.

Leaders of ethnic nationalities who jointly signed the communiqué included Dr. Godknows Igali, secretary of Board of Trustees (BOT) of PANDEF; Dr. Alfred Mulade, national secretary of PANDEF and Dr. Ken Robinson, PANDEF national publicity secretary.

Others were Dr. Prince Anyanate Kio, Leader of the National Representative Council (NRC) of the Ijaw National Congress (INC) Worldwide; Ebi Wodu, national secretary of INC Worldwide; Ms. Annkio Briggs, Critical Stakeholder; Chief Kennedy Odiowei, INC national financial secretary, and others.