Unease as FG Begins Process to End Presidential Amnesty Programme

By Daily Report Nigeria
4 Min Read
Unease as FG Begins Processes to End Presidential Amnesty Programme
The President Muhammadu Buhari administration has started processes to end the Presidential Amnesty Program for former agitators in the Niger Delta

The Federal Government has reportedly commenced plans to and the Presidential Amnesty Programme.

Credible sources reveal that the government intends to end the program effective on December 31, 2022, with an audit firm already appointed to embark on a complete audit the program from inception till date.

According to the source, new Interim Administrator of the PAP, Maj Gen Barry Ndiomu, (rtd) told staff members during a meeting in September that he is mandated to close up the program in six months.

Ndiomu is currently working with a deadline from the government in accordance with the new order.

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The development is said to have caused tension and unease within the office of the initiative.

Also, the Amnesty Office has since stopped giving out new scholarships to students in line with the presidential order to shut down the program.

Operations of the initiative has substantially scaled backwards too, as awarding of contracts for new training initiatives has been suspended.

The dates for the different tasks required to end the program were laid out in a paper with the title “Winding Down the Presidential Amnesty Programme” that was purportedly in the possession of PAP unit commanders.

The document’s terms of request were as follows:

“a. Ensure the immediate stoppage of all contract award processes.

By October 31, 2022, “b. Identify and profile beneficiaries of the Presidential Amnesty Programme from conception.”

“c. Hire a respected auditing firm with roots in the Niger Delta to carry out and complete by November 30, 2022, an audit of all PAP-run programs to determine:

“I. Total number and types of programs carried out.

II. The overall budget for the program and each program component.

III. Total number of ejected agitators trained, with details on their programs.

IV. The quantity and kind of pending eligible beneficiaries. Ex-agitators who are still enrolled in training programs.

VI. The total number of leaders and stipend recipients. Debt profile, item 7.

d. By December 31, 2022, propose a method for paying off any outstanding debts.

By December 31, 2022, all movable and immovable property must be inventoried and listed.

“f. Launch a comprehensive consultation/engagement of critical stakeholders and public education on the necessity of winding down the PAP between November 1 and November 30, 2022.”

A major cause of concern for the government is that the program, which the Musa Yar’Adua Administration kick-started with 30,000 former agitators, continues to operate with that number even though billions have been spent on training and reintegration initiatives.

The government fears that the initiative, which was intended to end in 2015, had been turned into a drain on government resources.

Meanwhile, the move by the government to end the Presidential Amnesty Program has been greeted with rejection from notable Niger Delta groups, including the Pan Niger Delta Elders Forum, PANDEF, and the Ijaw National Congress, INC.

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