The Niger Delta Civil Society Group, a body consisting of the Niger Delta Solidarity Forum, Niger Delta Progressive Front & Coalition of Niger Delta Youth Movement, has described the open letter written by some faceless group masquerading as Coalition of Niger Delta Ex-Agitator as untrue, fallacious, and regrettable.
The civil society group in a joint press statement signed by Daso Famous Bibawari in Warri said the open letter was devoid of truth and could be inciting, noting that, the writers decided to supplant truth with lies, but, such must not be allowed to flourish in the minds of the people, lest they believe the concocted lies.
The Coalition said it is worrisome that the writers of the open letter admitted that there was a case of multiple accounts being operated by a single individual detected by the forensic exercise conducted by the Barry Ndiomu-led Amnesty Programme, adding that more worrisome is that the group admitted to such fraud with either a weak defense in a shameful manner.
The statement reads in part: “What would have been the fate of those who are legitimately entitled to a #65,000 monthly stipend when certain people decide to use various crooks and mean to divert multiple people’s entitlement? What is more worrisome is that these unscrupulous people have been benefitting illegally from other people’s proceeds before the current administration detected it and stop it.
“Though the Amnesty Programme was designed to redeem ex-Agitators from the shackles of violence, destruction, and civil unrest, the Ndiomu leadership has continued to prioritize the interest of these people, even when he inherited backlogs of unpaid stipends from previous administrators, he never gave excuse in discharging his duty.
“Since he assumed office, he has paid the entitlement of legitimate ex-Agitators every month, and even encourage them to get contemporary skills that can help them survive the current economic realities in the country.
“His brilliance has made it possible to conceive a Cooperative Scheme that can serve as a way of supporting them with soft loans. He not only stops there, Ndiomu has also made sure to rally support from philanthropists to contribute towards the success of all his initiatives, for the overall good of the ex-Agitators.
“We also note his efforts at enlisting some of our qualified men into the Nigeria Military and Para-Military, having met with the leadership of these security architectures.
“If we are to defeat corruption, one must take time to praise, General Ndiomu, for putting the interest of legitimate beneficiaries at heart rather than supporting crimes under the guise of fraudulent payment.
“We have gotten to a stage in our life where we need to start eschewing every form of dishonesty and acts that are counter-productive to the Niger Delta region. If we are very vocal on manners in which certain politicians have amassed wealth for themselves at the detriment of the people, we then, need to serve as a right example.
“One of the greatest decisions the Interim administrator has done is sanitizing the scheme to allow qualified people access to their funds. Coming from an era, where illegality is the order of the day, we are now at the phase where we can now begin to have a strong belief in public institutions.
“The public needs to disregard those spurious lies because they are capable of harming our collective progress. Those who are legitimately qualified for the monthly stipend have continued to show appreciation to the Interim Administrator for the timely payment”.
The Coalition restated that ot associates with the people’s General, an administrator par excellence, and agree with his efforts at sanitizing the system, affirming that it is only when we have a sanitized system that the money can go around to everyone qualified people.
It called on the incoming President, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu to retain an upright man like Ndiomu to continue his good work in the office.