Ex-Militants Offer To Help Military Uncover Oil Pipeline Bombers

Militants Offer Partnership With Military To Uncover Oil Pipeline BombersLeaders of the Presidential Amnesty Programme in Edo state say they are willing to work with the military to fish out those who are involved in the bombing of oil pipelines in the Niger Delta region.

Mr Reuben Wilson spoke on behalf of the ex-militants under the aegis of Leadership, Peace and Cultural Development Initiative during a press briefing in Benin City the Edo state capital.

He said that the approval of the 2017 budget for the amnesty programme by President Muhammadu Buhari was a sign of his commitment to restore total peace to the Niger Delta region.

“We were there before embracing amnesty and we know every in and out of that area. That is why I said it here that we will work hand to hand with the security agencies.

“That place is not strange for us, it is (a place) where we have operated in those days before accepting amnesty.

“So we will go down and work hand in hand with security agencies if we are accepted. That is one thing. If the security agencies want us to work hand in hand with them, we will work and we know total peace will come back,” he said.

The Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, Brigadier General Paul Boroh said the ex-militants have embraced the agriculture programme of the Federal Government.

He said: “Like the Peremabiri Rice Farm, am making arrangement with the Minister of Water Resources. That farm is not under the Ministry of Agriculture, it is under the Ministry of Water Resources.

“I met with the Minister and he is very happy and we are planning to go together even though I have the knowledge of the place so that we can use it as part of the training ground to train the ex-agitators so that they can have first-hand information about how rice is being farmed.”

NDDC, Ex-Agitators Partner For Peace In Niger Delta

nddcIn furtherance of the Presidential Amnesty Programme for ex-agitators in Nigeria’s oil-producing communities, the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, has initiated a partnership with key stakeholders to work out strategies for enduring peace in the region.

Speaking at a meeting with about 65 ex-agitators at the Hotel Presidential, Port Harcourt, the NDDC Managing Director, Barrister Bassey Dan-Abia, said that the quest for peace was in line with a critical component of the transformation agenda of the Federal Government, which underlines peace as a necessary condition for the success of its development programmes.

He noted that the possible development of the region could only be, if there was peace. Hence, the commission would not develop if they had to battle with kidnapping, sea piracy, pipeline vandalism and other similar vices.

He stressed that the time had come for all to sit down as one family, look inwards and open a new chapter for the development of the Niger Delta region.

Flanked by other board members, Dan-Abia applauded the ex-agitators for what he called their heroic efforts at drawing attention to the problems of the Niger Delta which informed the rapid development in the area.

The NDDC MD said that the commission had over the years been committed to so many programmes and projects, many of which were still on-going. Consequently, he said, the commission was now reviewing its strategy to ensure that on-going projects were completed on schedule as directed by President Goodluck Jonathan.

“I salute you as the leaders of the struggle and thank you for your courage and patriotism, which has drawn attention to the challenges of the region. Indeed, we at NDDC appreciate all your sacrifices that have put the Niger Delta in the front burner”, he said.

Making his contribution at the meeting, the leader of the Niger Delta Salvation Force, Asari Dokubo, noted that that the NDDC was set up basically to bring rapid development to the Niger Delta.

He stated, however, that development was not only about roads and bridges but should also take into account the building of human capacity.

Thanking the NDDC for bringing the ex-agitators together to map out plans for peace and progress, he called on the commission to strengthen its programmes for empowerment and capacity building in agriculture and skill acquisition in the technical sector.

He said: “We must develop the economic capacity of our people. We should not allow our people to be beggars in the midst of plenty. We need to produce the Dantatas and Dangotes of the Niger Delta”, he

Asari Dokubo also warned northerners who were suggesting that the NDDC should be scrapped to perish the thought, as they would not succeed.

He was apparently referring to a position paper being canvassed by some northern delegates at the on-going National Conference, calling for the scrapping of the amnesty programme, Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs and the NDDC.

Also speaking at the meeting, the leader of the Peace and Development Initiative, Mr. Reuben Wilson, a.k.a General Pastor, assured the NDDC of the support of the former agitators, noting that the meeting was recognition of their role in the liberation of the Niger Delta.