Sylvester Idowu in Warri
An oil-monitoring group, Niger Delta Indigenous Movement For Radical Change (NDIMRC) on Friday decried the removal of Dr. Ibe Kachikwu as the Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) at this critical period when peace is required in the Niger Delta region.
The group wondered if the appointment of the former Group Executive Director, Exploration and Production of the Corporation, Dr Maikanti Kacalla Baru, could help in returning the much desired peace to the troubled oil industry at this critical time when the militants were destroying oil facilities.
According to a statement signed by the President of the group, Nelly Emma; Secretary, John Sailor, and Public Relations Officer (PRO), Stanley Mukoro, it expressed disappointment at the sudden decision of the President to remove Kachikwu who had been labouring to calm down the militants for oil exportation to improve.
Baru’s appointment, the group noted, has raised questions as to whether or not he can lead negotiations to calm restive militants in the Niger Delta, who have renewed hostilities in the oil-rich region in a wave of attacks on oil industry installations.
Kachikwu, who for eight months had doubled as the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, and will now serve as the Chairman of the NNPC board, had led a Federal Government team last month to negotiate a peace deal with the militants.
The group said: “Only last month, the hard-working Dr Kachikwu, against threat to his life and members of his family, took a risky trip to the troubled Niger Delta Region to see things for himself at the controversial Nigerian Maritime University, Okerenkoko, Gbaramatu Kingdom, in Warri South West Local Government Area of Delta State and his visit brought hope to the hopeless people of the region. His trip to the area also helped to reduce the spate of attacks on oil facilities by rampaging militants.
“The President should have honoured him for his hardwork. We must say that we are disappointed with the choice the President made for the NNPC. Can Dr Baru take a trip to the Niger Delta Region? As the new GMD of NNPC, can he plead with rampaging militants in the Niger Delta Region to give peace a chance and they will listen to him?
“The choice of Dr Baru as the man at the helm of affairs in NNPC by the President is not the best”.
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