Youths deplore deployment of troops to guard oil facilities in Niger Delta
• I ’ll be prudent with amnesty funds, Dokubo promises
• Military concludes arms handling training in Bayelsa
Youths from oil and gas producing-communities of the Niger Delta have advocated a community-oriented oil facilities surveillance scheme all over the region as the best model to address the menace of pipeline vandalisation and attacks on oil and gas facilities instead of militarising oil activities.
The youth leaders, including President of the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC), Mr. Eric Omare; Itsekiri National Youth Council (INYC) President, Agbateyinro Weyinmi and others from Urhobo, Ndokwa, Isoko and other ethnic nationalities, said this at the weekend in Warri, Delta State, during an interactive session between them and representatives of Ocean Marine Solutions Limited on campaign against attacks on oil and gas facilities in the Niger Delta region.
The youths said the best way to protect oil and gas facilities is to actively engage the youths instead of spending so much money on the conventional security agencies.
The Niger Delta youths, stressed that the high level of youths’ unemployment in the region was partly responsible for the persistent vandalisation of oil and gas facilities.
In a related vein, Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta and Co-ordinator of the Amnesty Programme, Prof. Charles Dokubo, has assured of prudent management of funds meant for beneficiaries of the programme.
Dokubo, who gave the assurance at the weekend when the leadership of the Niger Delta Amnesty Law Students Association (NDALAWSA) paid him a courtesy visit in Abuja, said budgetary allocations to the amnesty office would be judiciously utilised under his watch, and not diverted into private pockets.
Meanwhile, the joint military task force in the Niger Delta, code-named Operation Delta Safe (OPDS), at the weekend said it had concluded arms handling training to enhance the precision of troops in operations.
The one-month shooting and marksmanship exercise came to a climax with an inter-sector skills at arms’ competition among the four sectors of the JTF based in the region.
Bayelsa State Governor Seriake Dickson, who was the Special Guest of Honour, represented by his deputy, Rear Admiral John Jonah (rtd), appealed for the sustenance of the training.