Ex-Militants who engineer crisis in Niger Delta should face the law- CCC.
Against the backdrop of recent moves by ex-militant fighters in the Niger Delta to resurrect the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), the Centre for Crisis Communication (CCC) has called on the federal government to ensure that the full wrath of the law is brought to bear on any individual or group that wants to engineer crisis in the country.
A statement by Executive Secretary of the CCC, Air Commodore Yusuf Anas (rtd) said, “The Centre is agitated by recent moves to resurrect the once rested movement for the Emancipation of Niger Delta. It was purported to have planned a meeting of its old brigade members on 25th July 2015 in Yenagoa. The arrow head of the meeting is no other person than Mr. Tompolo along with some Ijaw youth”.
“Although Mr. Tompolo denied attempting to resurrect the rested militant group, the last may not have been heard on the issue. Nigerians will recall how this deadly group almost crippled the nation’s oil production from 2005 until when late President Yar’adua initiated the Amnesty Programme and billions of naira has been and is still being spent to address the youth challenges of the region” Anas said.
Applauding the appointment of Brigadier General Peter Boroh (rtd) to head the Amnesty Programme for the Niger Delta by President Muhammadu Buhari which it believes will no doubt energize the programme, the Centre said, “If there are genuine grievances with the Amnesty programme, legitimate overtures and appropriate channels should be exploited.
“However, the full wrath of the law should be brought to bear on any individual or group that wants to engineer crisis aimed at militating against the socio-economic development of our dear nation.
On pipeline vandalism, he said, “The Centre condemns in its entirety the recurring incidence of pipeline vandalism and the attendant oil spillages being carried out by unscrupulous economic saboteurs.
“Apart from the disruption of normal oil flow across the pipelines and loss in revenue, this economic crime has on many occasions resulted in deadly fire and oil spillage that have claimed many lives and damage to the environment in several communities.
“In spite of that colossal human loss, a group of area boys holding monopoly of violence in the guise of guarding the pipeline across some regions of this country; some photo journalists namely Solomon Adeola of the Nation Newspapers and Omoniyi Aiyedun of the Sun Newspapers were captured and tortured by the vandals when they went to cover the circumstances surrounding the incident.
“The Centre is aware that securing the entire length and breadth of the nation’s oil pipelines is certainly a daunting one.
“The Centre therefore wishes to reiterate greater need for the protection of the nation’s critical infrastructure through a more robust multi-agency collaboration and synergy. This will go a long way in ensuring crude oil get to the refineries for refining and subsequent supply to Nigerians to ameliorate the current fuel shortage.
Regarding Kidnapping and Banditry, Commodore Anas said, “The Centre is also gravely concerned about the spate of kidnappings for ransom and armed banditry across the country. These are also serious crimes committed against our citizens.
“A case in point is the recent kidnap of a 92 year old ruler of Tombia Community in Bayelsa State by unknown gunmen. Similar cases abound in several parts of the nation.
“In the same vein, armed robbery and ritual killings have continued to afflict several individuals and communities across Nigeria. This unacceptable situation should not be allowed to continue unabated.
“Although our security agencies are doing their best, we want to urge them to collaborate more to ensure perpetrators are apprehended and speedily brought to justice” Anas said.