Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
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-agitators under the aegis of the Leadership, Peace and Cultural Development Initiative (LPCDI) also want the Buhari administration to facilitate the speedy clean-up of Ogoni 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 who 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 noted that, that had sustained the peace.
According to him, though the peace being enjoyed in the region is as a result of the decision taken by the 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”.
On the personality clashes among political appointees from the region, the ex-militant leaders cautioned that such development could cause a setback for the region.
The group which listed Niger Delta political leaders in office to include 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) urged all Niger Deltans to give them support.