PAP: Why Barry Ndiomu’s N1.5 billion cooperative scheme for ex-agitators is another scorecard of failure

PAP: Contradictions surrounding Ndiomu's suspension of Niger Delta ex-agitators’ scholarship scheme

Barry Ndiomu

PAP: Why Barry Ndiomu’s N1.5 billion cooperative scheme for ex-agitators is another scorecard of failure

By GabaramatuVoice Editorial Board

The latest report that Major General Barry Tariye Ndiomu (Retd), the Interim Administrator of the Presidential Amnesty Program, with few days to the expiration of the President Muhammadu Buhari led Federal Government, under which he operates, injected N1.5 billion to support a cooperative scheme for 30,000 ex-agitators in the Niger Delta region, has again affirm as true the GbaramatuVoice long held opinion that PAP under his watch is reputed for acting ahead of reason.

Ndiomu while announcing the launch of the PAP Cooperative Society Limited in Abuja said that the agency has deposited N1.5 billion at Providus Bank for the take-off of the scheme and intends to provide N500 million monthly to support the program. Noting that the effort was aimed to ensure the self-sufficiency of the ex-militants and reduce their dependence on the N65, 000 monthly stipends.

Certainly, those that have not been following the antics of the current Presidential Amnesty handlers may fall for the latest move particularly when one brings into view the optimism by the interim administrator that as the funds increase, they would expand to impacted communities and that the scheme would also benefit several people across the region.

But beyond this forlorn hope lies inherent ills that amply qualify the move as another ‘April fool’ and exposes fundamental reasons why no well meaning Niger Deltan should believe Ndiomu or support his current political gimmicks.

First challenge is the timing.

Going by the records available to GbaramatuVoice, Ndiomu had the ample opportunity to save, serve and empower the ex-agitators, but he, for yet to be identified reason allowed self to be distracted by accepting another portfolio as the chairman of the Federal Government’s investigative panel on oil theft and losses.

ALSO READ: Presidential Amnesty Programme: Time to lift embargo on the scholarship scheme

Throughout the period that he functioned in that additional capacity, chairman of the Federal Government’s investigative panel on oil theft and losses, Ndiomu gallivanted round the state capitals and major cities in the Niger Delta region visiting state governors, traditional rulers and other among other stakeholders while leaving his primary responsibility (empowerment of ex-agitators) to suffer.

Even when he severally mouthed that the special panel under his watch was committed to its mandate of investigating and identifying perpetrators of the act, as well as proffering lasting solutions, evidence available at the public domain reveals that he failed in the two given assignments.

GbaramatuVoice is alarmed that the same man that stopped the scholarship fund for amnesty beneficiary is, at the eleventh hour, saying that he will continue to support the cooperative with additional finance by providing a minimum of N500 million every other month to sustain it.

If the money is available as he makes the world and Niger Deltans in particular to believe, why did he deliberately stop the cherished scholarship scheme for ex-agitators? Which one is better; between scholarship and unhealthy corporative scheme? Has Ndiomu forgotten that here is a country where policy summersault is the order of the day? If he leaves office today, what is the assurance that the incoming administration will tow that line of policy? Who will guarantee the fund?

Again, Ndiomu told the world that “The whole essence is to discourage reliance on the monthly stipends which you will all agree with me has brought the culture of indolence and is not in our best interest’’

GbaramatuVoice is again tempted to ask: Which is better; the guaranteed monthly stipends or the unsecured cooperative scheme? Did Major General Barry Tariye Ndiomu (Retd) truly carry out a feasibility study of what the cooperative scheme entails? Or was he just telling the people what they wanted to hear? If it was easy and possible as posited, why is it coming at the eleventh hour?

While answers to the above questions are awaited, the truth must be told to the effect that in Nigeria once a direction is chosen, instead of examining the process meticulously and set the right course; one that will allow us to overcome storm and reach safety, many of our leaders obstinately persist with such thinking regardless of a minor or major shift in circumstance.

The above point partially explains what is going on at the PAP office.

GbaramatuVoice in the interim believed and still believes that Major General Barry Tariye Ndiomu (Retd), is aware that the proposed corporative scheme will neither work nor be sustained, but lacks the humility to tell the people the truth.

To be continued.

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