A pro President Muhammadu Buhari’s ex-militant leader, Israel Akpodoro, has condemned the 16-point agenda presented to the President recently by representatives of the Niger Delta region.
Speaking after an enlarged meeting of members and leaders of the National Coalition of Niger Delta Ex-Agitators, NCNDE-A, Akpodoro who is the President of the group said those who made the representation to the President were self appointed and they went for their individual and not regional interest noting that it was unfortunate that the political system allowed for those he described as old war horses to represent a region blessed with productive and intelligent youth population who can hold their own anywhere in the world.
According to the Coalition, those who went to the President are the fifth columnists who fund the activities of several militant groups in the region especially the destructive Niger Delta Avengers, NDA, adding that their mode of operations is such that the elders form protective ring around perpetrators of violence in the region, call for negotiation and they the self acclaimed leaders come out to make bogus and selfish demands like they have done to the federal government. “They aid and abet the criminals and later asked the federal government to release them. We are appalled by the demands from Chief Clark and his co-travelers asking for the release of those criminal element who blow up oil and gas facilities in the name of Avengers. We stand against such criminal demands because it casts aspersions on us as a people making us look like criminals.”
Akpodoro stated further that while regions in the country seek human development in the capacity building of the youth population and industrialization of their regions, “the Chief E.K. Clark led group sought in his selfish 16-points agenda to acquire oil wells to enable them amass wealth at the detriment of general good of the people in the region.”
He querried the rational behind the 16-point agenda handed to the President as he sought to know where, when and how the decision was reached without consultation with all ethnic components of the region before the presentation of the regional needs stressing that what they presented to the president was anti people, fraudulent with the intention to create poverty in the region.
Pointedly, the group questioned the involvement of Chief Clark in the negotiation which he said was silent on employment, wealth creation, regional good but promotion of ego and self aggrandizement noting that the issue of forcing the oil majors to locate their operational headquarters in the region was only to cause confusion and thereby holding the multinational by the jugular.
They want the oil majors to relocate their operational headquarters to the Niger Delta so that whenever they want to make their usurious demands on the FG they would threaten or direct their so called Avengers to blow off the operational base of the oil companies. Now, Chief Clark has obviously confirmed to Nigerians that the Avengers were brain child of the elders in the region who are mostly from in jaw ethnic group. federal govt. should under any guise release the criminal elements because they are tools in the hands of the enemies of the Nigerian state.
Clark should have been bordered more by the resuscitation of the Delta Steel Company Aladja, which has the capacity to remove over fifty thousand youth from street. The same acclaimed leaders bought over the property of the oil companies as they relocated. A former Delta state governor was notorious in the purchase of property belonging to oil companies yet you want them to return. Where was Clark when the National Petroleum Development Company, NPDC was leaving Warri for Benin City? Who bought their property? These are group of psychophants who want to be seen as representing public good but are actually fighting for themselves. How can a man who told us some years ago that he was in the departure lounge of nature awaiting his exit from this world negotiate the future of our youth? The FG must identify youth in the region to work with. Why must Avengers be released? Are they above the law? The law must take its course because those arrested are criminals. Such demand is unbecoming of a supposed elder statesman who should be more nationalistic but has shown that he and his people are financiers of criminal elements in the region. When Goodluck Jonathan was in power, why did he not request the relocation of the head quarters of the oil majors, why now? ,” The vociferous ex-militant asked.
He called on the FG to identify youth from the region, assemble and work with them rather than the “romance” with those he described as self – seeking lots who know nothing other than how to shortchange the region and it’s people. The future of greatness in development of the Niger Delta region Akpodoro said lies on the shoulders of the youth and the earlier the President engage the youth in dialogue the better for the nation.
However, he noted that the Federal Govt. shouldn’t stop the ongoing dialogue but his concern is that same should be more elaborate and some persons substituted from the group to accommodate the youth questioning that how can the same faces hold brief consistently for a region for over thirty years now, such development he reasoned calls for concern. He added: “On no account should the FG consider releasing members of the Avengers noting that they are unrepentant criminals who would be used repeatedly by those asking for their release now. The Coalition stands against their release with all intents and purposes.” The Urhobo-born Ex-militant Leader stated.