*Backs Ndiomu for delisting 2,952 trained beneficiaries
The Niger Delta Integrity Group (NDIG) has warned that the continued collection of N65,000 monthly stipends by ex-agitators is capable of truncating the nobel intention of the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) and encourage the Federal Government to terminate it.
To this end, the group has asked stakeholders in the Niger Delta to cooperate with the Interim Administrator of the PAP, Maj. Gen. Barry Ndiomu (rtd) to remove all those who have been trained and empowered but are still insisting on being paid the N65,000 monthly stipend.
The Convener of the NDIG, Dr Boma Horsfall, in a statement in Port Harcourt, Rivers State capital, expressed concern that those who have been removed from further payment had embarked on street protest to embarrass the Interim Administrator rather than cooperate with him to ensure the success of the programme.
Horsfall said it was sad and disappointing for the protesters to shamelessly embrace the culture of laziness over the delisting of 2,952 beneficiaries of Phase 2 of PAP and the stoppage of their monthly N65,000 stipend.
It will be recalled that the new leadership of the PAP led by Ndiomu had cut down on the figure of beneficiaries, as part of the moves to check fraud in the programme.
Justifying the “swift” action of Ndiomu, the group recalled that the aggrieved ex-agitators have been trained and equally empowered, thus, it was time for them to exit the programme.
Horsfall said, “The Amnesty Pogramme clearly states that those who have been trained and empowered should exit. But unfortunately, the same persons who have been trained and empowered are the ones protesting because they are no longer receiving stipends”.
While urging Ndiomu to remain firm in his resolve to sanitize the PAP so as to avlid being terminated by the government, the group wondered how the ex-agitators, many of whom have been receiving N65,000 for the past13 years, have not been able to do anything meaningful with the training and empowerment they got to better their lives.
“If you multiply N65,000 by 12 months (1 year), it gives you N780,000. If you then multiply N780,000 by 13 years ago since the PAP started, you will discover that each of them had received N10,140,000 as stipends. This should have been enough for them to setup themselves meaningfully and look beyond the monthly stipends” NDIG stated.