Activist Insists On Revocation Of Amnesty Programme, Pipeline Surveillance Contracts | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Activist Insists On Revocation Of Amnesty Programme, Pipeline Surveillance Contracts

Posted: May 20, 2015 at 6:30 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Emma Arubi, Warri


Niger Delta activist, Chief Ayirimi Emami has reiterated his call for the scrapping of the Presidential Amnesty Programme for those he described as “purported ex-militants”, insisting that the few Niger Deltans craving for the continuation of the programme are self-seeking and are only concerned with pecuniary gains, instead of genuine infrastructural, educational and socio-economic development of the Oil as well as Gas rich Niger Delta region.

In a statement issued from Beirut, Lebanon Monday May 18, Emami said though was a beneficiary of the Pipeline Surveillance Contract, that the contracts needed to be revoked “because in the course of executing the contract we discovered that some so called ex-militants who benefitted from the Amnesty Programme and a few others who were awarded Pipeline Surveillance Contract are practically involved in illegal oil bunkering and unconventional refining of the Nation’s Crude Oil”.

He said “the incoming administration can go ahead with the alleged plan to revoke the Pipeline Surveillance Contract awarded to some Niger Deltans, if it so wishes, after all, we are not military men and can only offer useful pieces of information that can assist the security agencies in effectively carrying out their constitutional responsibility of protecting our facilities and territorial boundaries”.

Emami said that in the face of the economic realities facing the Nation, wise and right thinking Niger Deltan should prevail on the incoming Buhari/Osinbajo administration “to channel the so called amnesty money and that expended on Pipeline Surveillance Contract on infrastructural, educational, agricultural and socio-economic development of the region,” adding that “the dwindling crude oil price at the International Market has even made it more imperative for programmes which serve only a few people to be discontinued forthwith”.

While declaring that the major purpose of the amnesty programme was not achieved and oil theft worsening, despite the surveillance contract which he believes can be better handled by the conventional Nigerian military, Chief Emami averred, “the fresh protests by purported beneficiaries of majority of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, claiming they have not been paid their stipends for several months by the Presidential Amnesty Office anchored by Mr. Kingsley Kuku, despite the colossal  amount expended on the programme, gives credence to my earlier call for the incoming administration to investigate the programme, which is largely skewed in favour of a particularly ethnic group”.

He called on the incoming Federal Government to implement the Rule of Law in all parts of the country, especially in the Niger Delta, stressing that anyone still carrying out militancy in the region, pretending to be ex-militant should be prosecuted.

According to him, if the Federal Government continue to expend our little resources on a few people in the name of Amnesty Programme, regional groups like MASSOB, OPC and the vicious Boko Haram sect are very likely to agitate for amnesty, thus promoting violence to the detriment of education, merit and hard-work.

Chief Emami also admonished the Buhari/Osinbajo administration to take a critical look at the Ogidigben Export Processing Zone, EPZ cum Delta Industrial Gas City, the Dangote Refinery at Epe, Lagos State as well as the Olokola Gas Project spanning through parts of Ondo and Ogun States, with a view to giving it the necessary government support to enable the projects  effectively tackle the freighting rate of unemployment through the creation of thousands of direct and indirect employment opportunities, developing local content as well as building the capacity of Niger Delta people in particular and the Nation at large.