Niger DeltaNews

A’ Ibom ex-militants give FG ultimatum, threaten to shut oil flow

By Isaac Job

There is palpable tension in oil communities as a group, Akwa Ibom Ex-Militants Forum, has issued a seven days ultimatum to the Federal Government and threatened to shut down oil production in the state if the N48 billion pipeline surveillance contract awarded to Chief Government Ekpemuopolo (aka Tompolo) is not terminated., The Trumpet has gathered.

In a petition addressed to President Muhammadu Buhari signed by the leader of the ex militants, Johnson Solomon and Secretary, Comrade Godwin Edohoaqya made available to newsmen in Uyo at the weekend, the group said that it was wrong for the Federal Government to award contract for the surveillance of oil pipelines passing through Akwa Ibom without engaging youths from the state.

The militants observed that youths whose communities have suffered environmental degradation over the years as a result of oil exploiration and exploitation would have been involved in the deal.

The Federal Government had on Monday last week renewed a N48b monthly contract for the surveillance of oil pipelines to the former leader of the movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND).

The petitioners urged the federal government and the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) to revoke the contract or review it to accommodate former Niger Delta agitators from Akwa Ibom State as most of the oil and gas pipelines pass through their communities.

The petition reads in parts : “In 2015, when President Goodluck Jonathan was about to hand over to President Muhammadu Buhari, Ex-Militants from Akwa Ibom State in our numbers protested to the National Assembly against similar contract which did not accommodate us.

“Leadership of the National Assembly with Heads of security agencies recieved our protest letter and assured us that Akwa Ibom Ex-Militants will be accommodated in future contracts.

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“We are giving the Federal Government a seven day ultimatum to address the situation or we will embark on a marathon protest that will shot down Oil and Gas production in Akwa Ibom State.

The ex militants noted youths from the state have refused to be involved in oil theft and pipeline vandalism because of their patriotism for Nigeria and agreement they signed with the Federal Government during Amnesty. They warned that such a disposition should not make the youths to be marginalized in the award of such a contract..

The group advised the Federal Government to award the contract in sections to accommodate youths of all the oil oroducing states in the region to avoid renewed agitation, hostilities and possible negative actions that will defeat the purpose of government intentions.

“We are familiar with the terrain and pipeline routes running across the state and only youths from Akwa Ibom can protect the pipelines better than a visitor. If our youths are engaged in such a project, the rate of unemployment will reduce, ” they added.

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