As part of efforts to successfully reintegrate ex-agitators in the Niger Delta region, the Interim Administrator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), Maj. Gen. Barry Tariye Ndiomu (rtd), has approached the Commandant General of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Dr. Ahmed Abubakar Audi to accommodate trained ex-agitators in its forthcoming recruitment exercise.
Speaking during a visit to the headquarters of the NSCDC in Abuja on Tusday, Gen. Ndiomu said: “I believe that the Presidential Amnesty Programme presents a wonderful opportunity for the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps to draw from it, and that is essentially why I have come and I hope that you will lend me a listening ear and not just lending me listening ear, but we will leave here with some good news to relay back to the ex-agitators.
“It has gotten to my knowledge that the Nigeria Security and Civil and Defence Corps is about to recruit about a thousand persons for pipeline protection and surveillance jobs. We have done a lot to ensure that some of the activities of miscreants within the society in the Niger Delta are checked.
“It was the similar thing I was explaining to the chairman of ICPC that if it was not for some of our activities, the relative peace we are seeing across the Niger Delta today will not be there and it is part of the gains of this programme as part of our own positive contribution to our national security and this has been at an ernomous cost of resources.
“Considering the fact that we have these young men and women that we have trained in the Niger Delta. But inspite of training these young men and women, we are also expected to provide them gainful employment. “Since I assumed office, that has been my focal interest because quite a few of them have been trained but they have not been gainfully employed.
“I said I must come and discuss with you because we should have a workable partnership between the Presidential Amnesty Programme and your good office, considering the fact that the objectives are similar because our job is primarily to ensure the peace and security across the Niger Delta, including the pipeline protection and surveillance.
“May I cease this opportunity to congratulate the Commandant General of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Dr. Ahmed Abubakar Audi, OFR, mni. One of the major reasons why I have come to visit the Commandant General this afternoon is to first of all announce myself, having been appointed as the Interim Administrator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), to introduce myself to you.
“I do not need to belabour you with the point about what my roles are. I am sure you are already conversant with my roles in the Presidential Amnesty Office. We are responsible for the administration of ex-agitators, which we have been doing for the past twelve, going to thirteen years. We can tell you who is disciplined and has the capacity to work with you in the Niger Delta and we have their data.
“So, I would want to plead with the Commandant General that you accept our proposition so that we can make available to you these able bodied young men and women to work with you for the best interest of our country in securing the pipelines and other infrastructures across the Niger Delta”, Gen. Ndiomu explained.
Responding, the Commandant General of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Dr. Ahmed Abubakar Audi, said his personnel live and dine with the populace which makes it easy for the service to obtain information from the people, adding that: “Sir, you have spoken and I have heard what you said.
“Actually, the PAP, your organisation deals with the the ex-agitators in the Niger Delta and baptise them, train them and it is also your responsibility to reintegrate them back into the society. Part of the reintegration is this thing that you have come this afternoon to seek.
“I like to tell you that this service is ready to accept it because there is a parable that says, an idle mind is a devil’s workshop, now, if you train these people and at the end you are not able to provide jobs for them, it is crisis.
“Already the labour market is saturated and you want to add more saturation in the labour market. So what you have come to do is very very central in my mind. I like to tell you that I will like to transmit what you have told me to my minister and table it in the board and discuss it. I like to tell you that you have my support.
“Your visit shows that you are a true Nigerian. You have the welfare of the people that you are mandated to take care of at heart and you have come to speak on their behalf. I am indeed overwhelmed with this your visit.
“I want to conclude by saying that our doors are open. As civil defence, we like to leverage on your experience in your military job. Apart from being a military general, you are a senior colleague, a distinguished mni.
“You know, once we see ourselves, we are like a cult, once we see that badge. Oga here is a member of course 31 while I am course 38”, the Commandant General reiterated.
Recall that the NSCDC is a para-military agency of the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria that is commissioned to provide measures against threat and any form of attack or disaster against the nation and its citizenry. The corps is statutorily empowered by lay Act No. 2 of 2003 and amended by Act 6 of 4th June 2007.
The Corps is empowered to institute legal proceedings by or in then and of the Attorney General of the Federation in accordance with the provisions of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria against any person or persons suspected to have committed an offence, maintain an armed squad in order to bear fire arms among others to strengthen the corps in the discharge of its statutory duties.