Ex-Militants Protest Suspended Monthly Pay As PAP Accuses Fraud

Ex-Niger Delta militants invaded the National Assembly’s main gate in Abuja on Tuesday to demonstrate against the alleged non-payment of their allowances by Maj. Gen. Barry Ndiomu, the program’s interim administrator (retd.).

When Ndiomu was appointed by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari, in September of last year, the erstwhile agitators in the oil-rich region voiced several concerns, stating that the monthly payment of N65,000 to over 7,000 for them had been discontinued (retd.).The protesters, who said they were from Delta, Rivers, Bayelsa, Ondo and Edo states, stated that the protest was to register their displeasure with the non-payment while urging the leadership of the National Assembly to intervene in the matter.

The ex-militants also addressed their petition, which was signed by the Chairman Phase 2, Bayelsa State, Paul Johnson, and two others, to the Inspector General of Police, Usman Baba.

A copy of the petition, which was made available to journalists, read in part, “We abide by the law as citizens of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, upon our disarmament and acceptance to embrace the Presidential Amnesty Programme.

“Right from the inception of the programme, we are duty-bound to play by the rule of the Presidential Amnesty Programme to be non-violent, and on the other hand emoluments, incentives and benefits were to be given us, part of which includes training – both academic and non-academics – and the monthly N65,000.00 stipends.

“Sir, for the past six months, over 7,000 delegates have stopped receiving the N65,000.00. This is a result of the appointment of Ndiomu as the Interim Administrator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme.

“Right from his appointment as the interim administrator, over six months now, many of our ex-agitators have suffered this insensitive behaviour from Ndiomu.”

But reacting to the protest, the Special Assistant (Media) to the Office of the Interim Administrator of the PAP, Freston Akpor, said those protesting were criminals and under investigation by the office of the National Security Adviser.

He said there were cases where multiple accounts were linked to one person.

According to him, since 2009, the number of ex-agitators on PAP’s payroll had remained at 30,000.

He said, “From 2009 till September last year, the 30,000 has remained unchanged, meanwhile many people have gone through the reintegration process. It is assumed that if anyone has gone through the training process, they will exit the programme.

“We had problems with the BVN issue, we had a situation where we had multiple accounts linked to one BVN. At times more than 30 accounts are linked to one BVN. In the process what we have now is 19,000 plus ex-agitators

“In the process of doing this more than N200m has been saved by the office to take care of other needs. Those protesting are part of the problem, they are those whose multiple accounts are linked to one BVN. This is a criminal case, a financial crime, the issue has been reported to the office of the NSA and it is been investigated.”