……National Security Adviser, Nuhu Ribadu, about the PAP’s progress under his leadership.
By Paul Adaka:
The Interim Administrator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, PAP, Maj. Gen. Barry Ndiomu (rtd.), emphasized that he will not yield to blackmail in engaging in fraudulent activities within the Amnesty Programme. Ndiomu expressed this sentiment in Abuja, following his briefing to the new National Security Adviser, Nuhu Ribadu, about the PAP’s progress under his leadership.
Ndiomu clearly stated that his administration is fully aware that recent media criticisms by individuals falsely claiming to be ex-agitators are orchestrated by unidentified organizations and individuals.
He said, “If you like blackmail me to the heavens and back, I will not succumb to fraudulent activities.
“We will ensure that we stand our ground to do what is right and just for our people, and vigorously pursue the intentions of the PAP.”
Ndiomu issued a warning that individuals who are officially registered as beneficiaries of the PAP and are involved in disseminating false information will face legal consequences as prescribed by the existing laws of the Programme.
He recollected instances where former agitators were utilized as channels to unlawfully embezzle funds from the PAP.
Consequently, he urged contractors awaiting pending payments to adhere to the proper procedures for addressing their concerns, rather than spreading and financing misinformation.
“We are aware that those fighting back are those who have issues with their BVNs. How can only one person be receiving monthly stipends on several accounts linked to a single BVN? There are hundreds of cases like that. That is how deadly corruption is. When you try to fight it, it fights back.
“We are aware that there are contractors who criminally connive with some staff of the PAP in the past to come up with bogus and fictitious contract sums. But my conscience will not allow me soil my hands with such fraudulent operations. It’s not going to be business as usual,” he stated.
In previous instances, Ndiomu discouraged former agitators from relying solely on the monthly stipends of N65,000 and encouraged them to explore more sustainable methods of earning a livelihood.
He expressed concern that excessive reliance on these stipends has fostered a culture of idleness and laziness among young people.
As part of efforts to tackle this issue, a Cooperative Scheme was recently introduced to establish a platform and viable opportunities for the active involvement of ex-agitators in productive ventures.