The recent appointment of Maj. Gen. Barry Tariye Ndiomu (retd) as the Interim Administrator for the Presidential Amnesty Programme, PAP, by President Muhammadu Buhari, is eliciting mixed reactions with some stakeholders querying why the position must always be for the Ijaws of the Niger Delta alone.
President Buhari, through the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, had announced the appointment of Maj. Gen. Barry Tariye Ndiomu (retd) as the Interim Administrator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, PAP, following the replacement of Col. Milland Dixion Dikio (retd) who was appointed as Interim Administrator of the programme in August 2020.
However, a group, the Niger Delta Youths Leaders Association, NDYLA, has called on President Buhari to review the appointment of Maj. Gen Ndiomu, as the new Interim Administrator of the PAP, arguing that for too long the position has been dominated and occupied by the Ijaws of the Niger Delta.
In a statement signed by the President of NDYLA, General Lucky Emonefe, the group argued that there are other ethnic nationalities from other states in the Niger Delta region, urging President Buhari to review the recent appointment of the Interim Administrator to comply with the principles of federal character, equity and justice.
Emonefe condemned the situation where only the Ijaw ethnic nationality and majority of whom are from Bayelsa State have been appointed to the PAP Administrator’s position since its inception.
“The attention of the Niger Delta Youth Leaders Association has been drawn to the appointment of Retired Maj. Gen. Barry Tariye Ndiomu as the Interim Administrator of the PAP by President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday, Sept 15, 2022.
“While we as a body and the general public have no ill feelings toward the person and character of Maj. Gen. Barry Tariye Ndiomu, however our grouse with the appointment stems from the fact that the position and seat have been monopolised, personalised and dominated by the Ijaws of Niger Delta, especially those from Bayelsa State of Nigeria alone, right from its inception.
“This has been done because same have been aided by successive governments and not limited to that of the Government of President Muhammadu Buhari.
“The Niger Delta comprises several nations, tribes and ethnicities and not Ijaws alone. The region also comprises different states, ranging from Rivers, Delta, Edo, Abia, Akwa Ibom, Imo, Ondo, Cross River, and Bayelsa respectively.
“The PAP was not created for Bayelsa and the Ijaw nation alone, but for the entire Niger Delta States, tribes, nations and ethnicities. Therefore, we the entire members of the Niger Delta Youth Leaders Association and the general public, unequivocally and staunchly reject the appointment of Retired Maj Gen Barry Tariye Ndiomu as the Interim Administrator of the PAP.
“This is akin to a lack of equity, fairness and justice to the rest of the Niger Delta States, tribes, nations and ethnicity
“The continuous stay and/or appointment of Ndiomu as the Interim Administrator of the Amnesty Program will spell doom and gloom to the rest of the Niger Delta States”, the group said.
While arguing that it was time for other ethnic nationalities to have a bite at the PAP leadership, Emonefe urged President Buhari “to review Ndiomu’s appointment as the PAP interim Administrator by replacing him with another from any of the Niger Delta States”, adding that “Niger Delta people have other capable hands with impeccable character to do the job to perfection.”