President Muhammadu Buhari has appointed Barry Ndiomu, a retired major general, as the interim administrator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme. Mr Ndiomu replaces Milland Dikio, a retired colonel. A presidential spokesperson, Femi Adesina, announced Mr Ndiomu’s appointment in a press statement he issued on Thursday evening. No reason has been given for Mr Dikio’s sack. Mr Ndiomu hails from Odoni in Sagbama Local Government Area of Bayelsa State. He was admitted to the Nigerian Defence Academy as part of 29th Regular Combatant Course, and was commissioned Second Lieutenant in 1983. He held several command and staff appointments in the course of his military career before he retired in December 2017.
“Gen Ndiomu also trained as a lawyer, and is an alumnus of National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Administrative Staff College of Nigeria, Badagry, Harvard Kennedy School, and George C Marshall Centre for European Security Studies, among others,” the statement said.
The Presidential Amnesty Programme was established by President Musa Yar’Adua’s administration in 2009 as part of the government’s measures to reduce militancy in the oil-rich Niger Delta region. Its aim was to persuade militants to give up their arms for amnesty and reintegration. Thirty-thousand former militants had been enrolled into the programme so far. Sixty-five per cent of them are currently under training, while 65 per cent have been successfully reintegrated, according to the information on the programme’s website. About 113 former militants had been helped to secure employment in maritime, welding and fabrication companies at home and abroad, then chairman of the amnesty programme, Kingsley Kuku, had said in 2012. Godwin Abbe, a retired major general and former military administrator of Akwa Ibom State, was the first chairman of the programme from 2009 to 2010.