Ex-MEND leaders task Buhari on Ogoni cleanup, East West road completion
Former militants under the defunct Movement for the Emancipation of Niger Delta (MEND), has tasked President Muhammadu Buhari on the need for the speedy completion of the East-West road project and the Ogoni cleanup exercise.
The ex-militants want the President to increase the funding of the Presidential Amnesty Programme in order to secure lives, security of oil installations and increase capacity of youths in the region.
The group made up of the first phase leaders of the amnesty programme, under the aegis of the Leadership, Peace and Cultural Development Initiative (LPCDI), at the end of an enlarged meeting in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, also prays for the engagement of Niger Delta youths by multi-national oil companies operating in the region.
The National President of the LPCDI, Pastor Reuben Wilson also known as General Pastor, however 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.He said the peace being enjoyed in the region now is a result of the decision taken by militants leaders, including Government Ekpwemupolo, aka Tompolo, Ateke Tom and Dr. Ebikabowei Victor also known as Boyloaf.He said despite the relative peace being enjoyed now, there’s need for the leaders to meet with President Buhari in order to deliberate on some key lingering issues that will usher in more development, peace and security in the region.
“We are writing this letter as 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. “He should also look into the Ogoni cleanup to ensure the project is speedily and successfully completed.“We want 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.”
These, they assured, will bring pipeline vandalism and other criminalities in the oil rich region 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.On the personality clashes among political appointees from the region, the Ex-Militant leaders cautioned that actors are causing a set back in the development of the region.
“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 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 as Vokor, commended President Buhari over the 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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