Former Militant Leaders from the Nine States of the Niger Delta region have written to President Muhammadu Buhari over the need for the completion of the East-West road project and an increase in the funding of the Presidential Amnesty Programme in order to secure lives, encourage security and increase capacity of youths in the region.
The Ex-Militant leaders, made up of 60 per cent of the First Phase leaders of the Amnesty programme, under the aegis of the Leadership, Peace and Cultural Development Initiative (LPCDI),also urged President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure the successful completion of the Ogoni clean-up and compel the oil multinationals to engage youths from the region in gainful employment to sustain the ongoing peace in the area.
The National President of the LPCDI, Pastor Reuben Wilson also known as General Pastor commended the administration of President Buhari for the development strides in the region and the increase numbers of appointments allocated to indigenes of the region.
Pastor Reuben said though the peace being enjoyed in the region is as a result of the decision taken by these leaders including High Chief Government Ekpwemupolo known as Tompolo, King Ateke Tom and Dr. Ebikabowei Victor Ben known as Boyloaf, there is the need to meet with President Buhari in order to deliberate on proffered solutions for more gains for peace and security in the region.
“The Leaders furthermore, made a plea to the president to help and complete the East-West road which has become a death trap, causing several losses of lives and damage to vehicles. They asked the president to look into the Ogoni clean-up to ensure the project is successfully completed”.
“Also, the group pleaded with the President to compel oil companies working in the region to engage the youths in the areas of their operations to avoid restiveness instead of importing workers from outside and thus sidelining the competent youths of the region who have the requisite skills to be employed. They assured that this will bring pipeline vandalism to an end”.
The Rivers State Coordinator of the group, Groundville Ideye also known as Egbele suggested that the Amnesty Office needs more funding to enable leaders and boys to attend leadership trainings abroad.
Pastor Reuben also thanked the president for his fatherly support extended to our great party the All Progressive Congress APC and the good people of Bayelsa State in the just concluded gubernatorial elections which led to the installation of Chief David Lyon, a man of the people.
Pastor Reuben thanked the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva for initiating the amnesty programme that brought about peace to the Niger Delta region, calling him to look into ways he can inject our youths into various areas in the oil and gas sector.
He also called on the Petroleum Resources Minister to engage the leaders in oil rich communities in order to stop all forms of pocket of violence.
On the personality clashes among political appointees from the region, the Ex-Militant leaders cautioned that the personality clashes and bring-him-down syndrome among the Niger Delta Political appointees is causing a setback in the development of the region.
The group resolved that the ex-militant leaders and political appointees at the Federal Level should come to an agreement to give total support to any Niger Delta leader in office. We must come together and support our brothers, ”However, in case where such public office holder refuses to do the right thing, we should take the option of paying a personal visit to the person and state our grievances rather than resorting to open slandering over the media”.
“We currently have a number of our brothers in key positions like Chief Timipre Sylva (Petroleum Minister), Senator Akpabio (Minister of Niger Delta Affairs), Rotimi Amaechi (Minister of Transport), Prof. Charles Dokubo (Special Adviser to President on Niger Delta Affairs and Coordinator Presidential Amnesty Program), Senator Eta Enang ( Senior Special Assistant to President on Niger Delta Affairs), and a host of others”.
“We are pleading with the entire Niger Delta people to always support and stand by them and learn to be our brother’s keeper. It was also resolved in the meeting to give whole and total support to Prof. Charles Dokubo. We also implore the President to use his good office to keep on supporting and funding the programme. We urge all Niger Deltans to support Prof. Dokubo and to also forgive and forget any wrong he might have done to anybody”.
“We thank President Buhari for the love he has shown the region by giving those appointments to our brothers, we also call on him to do more by engaging more of our youth as we promise him our total support. The group is also using this opportunity to plead with our aggrieved brothers to channel all their complaint properly instead of taking laws into their hands. We cannot achieve development if we do not embrace peace”.
Also speaking, the Financial Secretary of the group, Andrew Chidi also known Vokor commended President Buhari over the ordered forensic investigation into the spending of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC),”The leaders want the NDDC to look critically into the Niger Delta region to identify and move into areas that have not been developed”.
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