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Niger Delta ex-militants have expressed their disappointment over sustained protests against the Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), Prof. Charles Dokubo, and Acting Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Prof. Nelson Brambaifa.
The ex-militants, who met at the weekend in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, under the auspices of Conference of First Phase Ex-Agitators (CFPE), vowed to resist further protests against Dokubo and Brambaifa.
A statement by the Chairman, Ifiemi D-Bull, and Senior National Adviser Chief Kalaiti Obadiah-1, said they would henceforth go after robbers and kidnappers operating at the Rivers and Bayelsa states axis of the East-West road.
The ex-agitators described the protests as “professional”, saying their investigations showed that they were borne out of frivolities, bigotry, hostilities and political differences.
They condemned the looting of empowerment packages at the amnesty warehouse in Kaiama, Kolokuma-Opokuma council in Bayelsa State by “security agencies and indigenes”.
The statement reads: “We will not fold our hands against crimes that short-changed us. We are the victims. We condemn the act. We urge President Muhammadu Buhari to set up investigation panel to look into the looting to stop the suspicion on Prof. Dokubo, even as we plead that Dokubo be retained to continue as Special Adviser and Coordinator of PAP.
“Payments of stipends to the ex-agitators have been regular. Bursaries to students and school fees are released unhindered. Contracts are issued according to merit and social services to ex-agitators have not been ignored.”
They noted that Brambaifa’s appointment as Acting Managing Director of NDDC was a welcome development, saying he was qualified for the position having been part of the Niger Delta struggle.
The ex-militants insisted that his appointment was a clear indication of Buhari’s intelligence and visionary instincts in choosing the right people.
According to them, the professor had rejuvenated the commission’s abandoned social welfare and empowerment projects, and women groups, youth organisations and medically-challenged persons were benefitting from Brambaifa’s inputs.
They said: “We are proud of him as an Ijaw man, and doubly proud that he is a Bayelsan. We admire and appreciate his strides, and we urge him to be steadfast in his good work. We believe that the water hyacinth jobs and voluntary surveillance contracts would include members of the CFPE.”
The ex-militants urged Buhari to confirm Brambaifa’s appointment as substantive managing director of the NDDC.
On criminal activities on the East-West road, they said: “We realise that kidnappings, killings, robberies are big problems to all of us and our families. Businesses are collapsing because of these crimes. People no longer have the mind to move around and do business because of threats to their lives.
“As ex-militants, we have embraced peace. This is the reason people confront us, desecrate our land and do whatever they want in the name of dirty crimes.
“We are using this opportunity to let the world know that henceforth, whosoever attacks people on the East-West road, especially at the Bayelsa State axis, will have us to contend with. Such person will have to deal with us in a manner that we will make sure they will never ever survive.
“We are sending this message to the entire world, Rivers and Bayelsa States to work together and do the very best possible because if they don’t stop, we shall take our action and enter the road.”
Source; The Nation Newspaper