By Mathew Dadiya, Abuja
Following frivolous claims made against the new Interim Administrator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), Maj. Gen. Barry Tariye Ndiomu by a faceless group over a purported sales of items in the office, the national leader of third phase Ex-agitators, Comrade Tonye Bobo has cautioned youths in the region to stop making unsubstantiated claims against elderstatemen, adding that the burden of proof of an allegation lies with the plaintiff.
In a statement issued on Tuesday, Comrade Bobo explained that the new Interim Administrator only met routine process that has been ongoing long before the new I.A assumed office, informing that the planned official sale of certain assets was the initiative of the last PAP administration which has nothing to do with Gen. Ndiomu.
He added that auctioning of assets in government circles was a route exercise that is usually carried with the approval of a supervising ministry or agencies, saying that the whistle-blowing policy in Nigeria only encourages people with valid evidence of financial misconduct or theft to voluntarily disclose such information to the federal ministry of finance and not to go to the media to rant over frivolous claims against respected Ijaw leaders.
While expressing his disappointment with the group, Comrade Bobo, who also is a member of the Presidential Amnesty Strategic Communication Committee said if Ndiomu’s accusers have any evidence of fraud against him they should be bold enough approach the anti graft agencies, instead of coming to the cyber space to insult such a highly reverd personality in Ijawland who served the country meritoriously and retired honourably from the Nigerian Army as Maj. General without blemish.
Comrade Bobo described the recent attacks on the person and office of Gen. Ndiomu as uncalled for as his accusers don’t have any evidence to substantiate their claims apart from raining insults on the Interim Administrator who has never been found wanting for any wrong doing in office.
“It is rather unfortunate that youths in region could allow themselves to be used by conflict entrepreneurs in the cyber space to denigrate an elderstateman in the class of Gen. Ndiomu without considering the cultural implications of such disrespectful acts against an Ijaw elderstateman.
“The statement by the so-called group is the height of irresponsibility, judging from the impeccable track record of Gen. Ndiomu. I want to use this medium to advise our youths to show respect to elders and not to allow themselves to be used to disrespect Ijaw elders, no matter how much money their sponsors may offer them, knowing that there are serious cultural implications that come with such unholy behaviour in Ijawland”, he maintained.
The third phase national leader stated that if the group wants to act as whistle blower, they should follow the stipulated guidelines and stop coming to the media to make vexatious, unfounded and inciting allegations against a highly respected retired General from the Nigerian military and a respected legal practitioner.
He also warned that dropping the name of the National Security Adviser (NSA) in their attempts to blackmail Gen. Ndiomu may eventually attract boomerang effects on them and their sponsors, pointing out that the frequent calls for the suspension of the new Interim Administrator was childish.
“If public officers were to be suspended based on mere unfounded frivolous claims made by some irresponsible groups, the antigraft agencies will not have any work to do.
“The Interim Administrator has not done anything wrong to warrant disrespect from the Niger Delta youths he is fighting for. It is indeed a sad commentary that our youths, operating in the guise being ex-militants would just wake and start to point accusing fingers at an elderstateman,” he regretted.
Recall that an auction is a sales event wherein potential buyers place competitive bids on assets or services either in an open or closed format. Auctions are popular because buyers and sellers believe they will get a good deal buying or selling assets.