From Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
The new Interim Administrator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), Major-General Barry Ndiomu (retd) has scheduled various meetings with critical stakeholders in the Niger Delta region.
It was gathered that the amnesty boss would hold crucial talks with some governors of the region from October 14.
A source at the Amnesty Office said it would be Ndiomu’s maiden official tour of the region and stakeholders’ consultations since his appointment as the interim administrator.
The source, who spoke in confidence, said the amnesty boss would also meet some leaders of ex-agitators such as High Chief Government Ekpemupolo alias Tompolo and the King of Okochiri in Rivers State, Ateke Michael Tom.
He said the amnesty boss would use the opportunity to unveil his plans for the programme and also address the issue of winding it down which has been a subject of discourse since his appointment.
The source said Ndiomu would have special interactions with the leaders of phases one, two and three ex-agitators, traditional rulers and security chiefs.
He said: “Already, there is tension in the region especially among genuine ex-agitators, who are apprehensive that the federal government is planning to shut down the programme.
“These planned engagements will help to douse the tension because the ex-agitators will have the opportunities to hear directly from the interim administrator and ask relevant questions”.
Another source also informed that critical stakeholders from across the region would gather for a meeting in Yenagoa, Bayelsa state capital where all issues bothering them would be tackled by the amnesty boss.
“It is hoped that these meetings will calm frayed nerves as they are designed to help all stakeholders better understand the mission of the amnesty boss”, he said.
When contacted, PAP’s media consultant, Donu Kogbara, confirmed the arrangement, saying the tour is part of Ndiomu’s plan to have all stakeholders on the same page for the actualization of the programme’s mandate.