Youths in the Niger Delta under the auspices of Niger Delta Youths Solidarity Movement, NDYSM, yesterday urged President Muhammadu Buhari to disregard stories of impeding coup by alleged militant groups, saying such stories were mere rumours concocted by oil thieves and miscreants who detest the presence of navy and army in the region.
Addressing a press conference yesterday in Abuja, president of NDYSM, Comrade Prince Kpokpogri said it was important to debunk the rumour as the coup story was a deliberate ploy by mischief makers to pitch the president against the military for selfish motives.
He alleged that the recent sack of some top military personnel that stole or became active in politics while still in service had worsened the breach of security in the region.
According to him, since they were mandatorily retired, there appears to be a situation where the military skills of “these disgraced officers” had been added to the callousness of the militants operating in the region.
He said, “If the Nigerian state is still in doubt, we only need to take a look at the change in the strategy being used to rustle feathers in the land. The stolen public funds seem to have found its way into the hands of groups that are now staging strong media attacks on not just key institutions in the military but also the management of its services and the government of President Muhammadu Buhari.
“We believe these characters now dread the presence of the Nigerian military, particularly the navy and the army who protect oil facilities from crude oil thieves and their agents, and therefore resort to sow the seed of discord by peddling the coup story around. While we are mostly focusing on our region, we have observed that the same pattern of catalysing instability by questioning the credibility of President Buhari, tarnishing the standing and loyalty of the military and questioning its loyalty to the president and the nation have been on the rise.
“In view of the bad light in which the militants with the active backing of the ex-military officers sought to cast the entire Niger Delta region, we deem it imperative to warn them to stop blackmailing the institution of the military. We do not wish that their bluff snowballs into something else. These ex-military officers must know that there are other ways of seeking redemption in the aftermath of the disgraceful and unbefitting end to what should have been their illustrious careers. There is still time to rethink and act differently.
“We urge President Buhari not to surrender the war against corruption to criminal elements simply because they are fantasising about a phantom coup that the military has denied anyway. The coup story is definitely a strategy that was hurriedly thrown up when they saw that they cannot dare Nigeria’s military might. Their ploy to force President Buhari to decimate the military through a purge to be triggered by the allegation of a coup has definitely failed before they have implemented it. Nigerians must make sure they continue to fail by constantly exposing their lies.”
He said the activities of militant groups like the Niger Delta Avengers had further compounded the environmental pollution that was already rife before they were initiated, saying the militant groups could not claim to be representing the interest of the region.
“We were perplexed that instead of taking the federal government up on its offer of dialogue, more militant groups were announcing their presence on a weekly or even daily basis. This is a development that suggested that the so-called militants were trying to create a situation where it becomes difficult, if not impossible, for genuine reconciliation to take place. There was equally the outside chance that some of these mushroom militant groups, learning from history, were on the quick to register their presence in case another round of free for all amnesty takes place.
“We were further pained as individuals and as a people when persons who should have been revered leaders demanded an end to the prosecution of persons indicted for corruption as a cardinal demand or precondition for ending the attacks on oil installations. That development damaged our reputation and painted the hardworking youths in the area as urchins that are readily available fodder for the ruling class,” the group posited

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