Tony John, Port Harcourt
Former Public Relations Officer of the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), Zion Amada, has described some groups, who threatened to resume hostilities in Niger Delta as common criminals.
Amada, who was also an aide to General Boyloaf, warned that any attempt to bring back violence to the region would be resisted, adding that those who issued the threat were not the first batch of those that started the struggle to liberate the region.
The former spokesman of the presidential amnesty under Brigadier-General Paul Boroh (retd) called on the Federal Government authorities to arrest those who issued the statement if hostility resumed and also cancel the amnesty extended to them if they are found to be under the amnesty programme.
Sunday Sun gathered that about 13 militant groups in the Niger Delta threatened to rescind the ceasefire they earlier signed with the Federal Government’s amnesty programme over what they described as ‘massive corruption in Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC)’
Amada described their request which included the sack of the Minister, Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpobio, and the dissolution of the Interim Management Committee (IMC) of the NDDC, as selfish, ludicrous and self-serving.
He described those who signed the statement and claimed to be leaders of the 13 groups namely General John Duku for Niger Delta Watchdogs, General Ekpo Ekpo for Niger Delta Volunteers, General Osarolor Nedam for Niger Delta Warriors and Major-General Henry Okon Etete for Niger Delta People’s Fighters and others, as unknown names in the struggle to liberate the region.
The statement also urged the Federal Government not to discountenance their threat, adding that they are only seeking cheap popularity.
According to the statement, ‘the reason for cancelling the ceasefire agreement is due to what they consider to be the continued refusal of President Muhammadu Buhari to accede to their earlier demands, which include the sack of the Niger Delta Affairs Minister, Godswill Akpabio, as well as accused the President of unwillingness to address the nagging issues of marginalisation of the Niger Delta in terms of appointments in the oil and gas sector, particularly the replacement of the Group Managing Director of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation.
‘If any act(s) of violence occurs in any part of the region, these men should be arrested and prosecuted according to the law,’ the statement noted.
He commended the peaceful atmosphere of the region in recent times and urged the youths to shun violence and support the current leadership of the Federal Government to develop the region.