The Interim Administrator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, Major General Barry Ndiomu (retd.), has said the programme helped stop the conflict in the oil-rich Niger Delta region.
Late former President Umaru Yar’Adua in 2009 introduced PAP to disarm, demobilise and reintegrate ex-agitators who laid down their arms.
Speaking on Friday at the National Defence College Abuja, Ndiomu stated that the programme remained a critical tool to mitigate conflicts in the region.
Ndiomu was represented by his Technical Assistant, Flight Lieutenant Terry Ajogbena (retd).
He said, “13 years down the line, the PAP has played a more critical role in stemming agitations, compared to the efforts of other intervention modules in the past.
“Corruption, inadequate funding, lack of political will and other factors are responsible for the failure of various intervention agencies in the region
“PAP had since embarked on a model – Robust Stakeholder Engagement, Strategic & Targeted Communication and Community Outreach, Peace Building and Reconciliation to manage conflicts in the Niger Delta,’’ he said.
While responding to questions on environmental remediation from participants at the lecture, the PAP boss hinted that the amnesty programme had trained ex-agitators in environmental cleaning as well as remediation and made reference to Government Ekpemupolo aka Tompolo, whose Tantita Security Services Limited is currently executing a pipeline surveillance contract for the Federal Government.
He added that the region has enjoyed relative peace, with no reports of the blowing up of pipelines and an increase in crude oil production.
In his remark, the Deputy Commandant of the National Defence College, Major General Lawrence Fejokwu, noted that since 1958 till date, various intervention agencies have struggled to address agitations in the region.
He recalled that when the amnesty programme kicked off, it was successful, adding that other countries facing similar challenges, came to Nigeria to understudy the programme.