Former Assistant Inspector General of Police, Felix Ogbaudu (rtd), has weigh in on the brewing controversy over the exclusion of Isoko nation’s stakeholders from the pipeline surveillance contract awarded to the Niger Delta region.
Ogbaudu intervened after a delegation of the ‘eleven Isoko Youth Groups Coalition’, met him at his Abuja residence, urging him to interface with the federal government over the brewing crisis.
Addressing the delegation comprises of youths groups, Ogbaudu urged the Federal Government to listen and give consideration to the request and position of Isoko Youths as regards inclusion in the pipeline surveillance contract.
He stated that the yearning of the youths as regards the issue in discourse was germane and there was need for the government to reward Isoko’s peaceful disposition appropriately.
According to him, “Truly, Isoko Nation has contributed immensely to the economic development of Nigeria and I dare say that they have nothing to show for it unlike other ethnic groups in the Niger Delta Region.”
“The Federal Government cannot continue to turn a blind eye to the peace and support the Isoko Nation has contributed. What the youths are crying for is miniscule compared to what they have offered. The Federal Government should listen to them at this point.”
He appealed to the Federal Government to appreciate the enormous contributions of the Isoko Nation in the oil sector with so many oil pipelines traversing its land mass.
“These need to be protected and secured by competent Isoko Youths who have the capacity. This is the only way to reciprocate the highly commendable traits and good conduct that have been displayed over time in Isoko Nation by the federal government.
“I therefore urge the federal government to kindly oblige Isoko Youths’ humble and well-deserved request for an oil pipeline security contract as a matter of urgency please”, he added.
Meanwhile, the former Police Chief urged the youths to sheath their swords and maintain the peace as the leadership of Isoko Nation interfaces with government on the issues raised.
He urged them to never resort to violence as it takes so little to destroy and so much to build. “Isoko Nation has always been peaceful, follow due process in any pursuit, law-abiding, God fearing and have never been involved in oil pipelines vandalisation or oil theft.”
Recall that aggrieved youths from Isoko ethnic nationality in the Niger Delta last week issued a seven-day ultimatum to the Federal Government over alleged marginalisation in the pipeline surveillance contract.
The youths, in a communique issue by a coalition of eleven Isoko youth groups, drawn from the 19 clans of the Isoko ethnic nationality and Diaspora spanning Bayelsa State and other regions of Nigeria, on Wednesday, urged the Federal Government to resolve the issues or face degeneration of social order.
The youth coalition described the contract in its entirety as an insult on Isoko nation and its vibrant youths in their capacity to man the surveillance.
They accused Tompolo and the NNPC management of their intent to destroy the peace in Isoko nation.