A pro-democracy group operating under the auspices of Concerned Professionals Congress, CPC has condemned repeated attacks on oil and gas pipelines belonging to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, by the Niger Delta Avengers, NDA.
Addressing the press in Asaba yesterday after its extraordinary emergency meeting held in the Delta State capital to address the disturbing trends in the Niger Delta, the CPC particularly expressed worry and concern about the scare tactics of the militant gang issuing a two-week ultimatum to owners and operators of oil blocs in the region to shut-down , evacuate their staff and leave.
CPC’s Coordinator, Tukur Tilde and the Chief Media Strategist, Emeka Nwapa, said the quit order is in bad taste in view of its negative effects on the nation’s critical oil revenue.
According to them, “it said that the militants’ mindless bombings will bring untold strain and pressure on the entire region especially the toiling masses for whom the federal government has finalised series of critical developmental programmes.”
The pro-good governance advocacy group tasked traditional rulers, community leaders, elders, youths, students, clergy, professional associations and the elders’ councils of the Niger Delta to prevail on members of the militant organization to stop the bombings which it described as a tinder box.
They said that “the reasons given by the faceless group portrayed them as cheap characters pursuing personal agendas that should be condemned by right-thinking citizens.”
The group urged the youths of the region to expose the masterminds of the pipelines bombings, stressing the need for them to resist moves to use their territories for acts of vandalism of strategic national assets thereby capable of plunging the innocent and helpless people of the Niger Delta into more untold hardships.
“These so-called Niger Delta Avengers do not stand for the Niger Delta people because nobody supports their senseless bombings and wilful vandalism of strategic national assets in their land? Nobody supports such despicable actions which are clearly against the people they claim to be fighting for.
“Even before these so-called agitations resumed, President Buhari, in a rare display of statesmanship had indicated a commitment to executing more people-oriented projects in the region such as the immediate cleaning up of Ogoni land (commencing early next month) in compliance with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Report Implementation and the completion of the East-West road and the Calabar-Lagos railway,’’ they said.
Tukur Tilde observed that the resort to pipelines bombings and other criminalities does not address the fundamental issues facing the region but could only jeopardise the core interests of the people of the region including setting them against the rest of the country thereby breeding unnecessary animosity, distrust and disharmony.
‘’The aggravated bombings of critical oil and gas platforms such as Forcados pipeline, Bonga Oil field, Chevron trunk lines particularly the latest issuance of a 14-day quit order to all legitimate operators of oil blocks in the region is purposeless and misguided. We appeal to the good people of the region and other well-meaning Nigerians to rise up and nip this ugly trend in the bud. It is a bad omen,’’ he said.
The group praised the efforts of some governors, traditional rulers, religious leaders, community leaders and public-spirited persons across party lines to engage certain people and interests believed to have the ears of members of the militant group to rethink. It charged the youths of the region to play greater roles in the conflict-resolution process, saying that the future of the area belongs to them.