Following opposition from stakeholders in the Niger Delta region, the Federal Government has shelved its earlier plan to terminate the Presidential Amnesty Programme.
The Interim Administrator of the PAP, Maj-Gen Barry Ndiomu (retd.), who confirmed the government’s new position on Saturday, said the government instead decided to “transform PAP into a more sanitised, transparent, efficient, robust and sustainable entity”.
Ndiomu, in a statement issued by the media consultant to the amnesty programme, Donu Kogbara, commended the Federal Government for listening to the voice of critical stakeholders in the region who strongly opposed ending the scheme.
The administrator, however, said all responsible stakeholders shared the view that the programme needed to be refocused and restructured to make it more sustainable.
He further stated that the government weighed the arguments presented to it, based on their merits, and decided to suspend the planned shutdown, adding that its willingness to retrace its steps demonstrated the sensitivity of the regime of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) to issues affecting the Niger Delta.
The statement read in part, “The Federal Government has heard the concerns of Niger Delta people and, with our best interests at heart, has decided to shelve an unwanted termination agenda and transform PAP into a more sanitised, transparent, efficient, robust and sustainable entity.
“The decision was taken after the feelings of stakeholders and people of the region were communicated to the government and proves that the Buhari administration will not do anything to jeopardise the peace in the Niger Delta. We call on all stakeholders to sustain the peace in the region and help the new administration reform, refocus and reposition the programme for optimum performance.”