Sylvester Idowu in Warri
Palpable tension has enveloped the Niger Delta, particularly amongst oil and gas industry workers following the emergence of a new militant group, the Niger Delta Sea Disciplines (NDSD).
The NDSD is threatening oil operations if the federal government fails to honour its three point demands.
The group’s demand include payment of their 23 months pending stipends; restructuring of the Amnesty programme as well as sack of the Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) and Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta Affairs, Prof. Charles Dokubo.
The NDSD, in a statement signed by Gen. Solomon Akonkon and issued in Warri, said the present Amnesty Programme, as presently managed, has lost focus and track of its objectives hence ex-militants being owed stipends, scholarships of beneficiaries not paid, empowerment programmes skewed again ex-militants amongst other complaints.
The NDSD consequently gave the federal government a 21-day ultimatum to restructure the management of Amnesty Programme to meet the purpose of its establishment failure which will attract dare consequences.
The group warned that if President Mohammadu Buhari and other critical stakeholders in his administration fail to replace Dokubo within the 21-day ultimatum and pay all their outstanding allowances, they would then be left with no other option than to go back to the creeks.
Even though the group said its initial agitations would be peaceful with protests across the Niger Delta region and Abuja if the federal government fail to heed its demands, operators in the oil and gas industry are not comfortable with the development.
The NDSD maintained that Dokubo should be replaced with a competent person that was part of the struggle that informed its creation.
It observed that the continued stay of Dokubo, as boss in the Amnesty office, was already breeding bad blood among Niger Deltans, noting that region could not continue to experience incompetence and unsatisfactory performance.
The group noted that their demand for Dokubo’s sack was hinged on the fact that those who fought for the Amnesty programme now receives the alleged painful strokes of abandonment and alienation.