Group Berates  Ex-militants Over Threats against Nation’s Oil Installations

Olusegun Samuel

A Niger Delta Ex-militants Group, the Reintegrated Ex-Militant Forum (REF), has slammed some youths from the Niger Delta region over their recent threat to shut down critical oil infrastructures and installations in the Niger Delta over their alleged exclusion in the ongoing Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP).

They urged the federal government to treat those behind the threat as dissidents against the existing peace in the region.

The group said that though every Niger Delta youth have the right to feel aggrieved in view of the unresolved challenges against the region, but it does not justify the self-acclaimed Phase 3 beneficiaries of the PAP to be issuing threats against the nation’s critical infrastructure.

A statement issued and signed by its National Coordinator and former Creek General, Mr. Tony Ebikaliade, viewed the threat as mischievous, criminal and a deliberate attempts to allow political machinations against the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.

The REF warned the self-acclaimed Phase 3 beneficiaries to desist from issuing threats against the nation’s infrastructures and the PAP, instead, they should conform themselves to the principles of the PAP, otherwise they would be delisted from the PAP.

They stated that the PAP, under the leadership of Col. Miland Dixon Dikio (rtd.), has been repositioned towards achieving its core mandate, and that Col. Dikio’s administration has made more efforts to address grievances from ex-agitators across the region more than any other PAP’s administration under President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.

The group warning was coming as some ex-militants of the Phase 3 beneficiaries of the PAP on Wednesday,  handed a protest notice to the PAP boss and other relevant agencies of the federal government to shut down critical oil infrastructures and installations in the Niger Delta region if what they called their legitimate demands were not looked into within the time band of August 10, 2022.

The aggrieved youths, said they have not been included in the Amnesty Programme since its inception.

But, REF, argued that the security agencies should separate the alleged sponsored group from genuine Niger Delta youths who have embraced the various channels of communications initiated for resolution of conflict between youths and the PAP office.

“We are not surprised at the actions of the agitated youths hiding under the banner of Phase 3 agitators. The time for political jobs has come and these dissidents have offered themselves to be used as the destabilizer of the existing peace in the region.

“Though, we admit that the President Muhammadu Buhari administration have not been fair to the region in terms of the immediate set up of the board of the NDDC, the completion of the East-West Road and few others, the threat by a few sponsored youths to the nation through the Presidential Amnesty office is wrong, misplaced and criminal.”

“The Colonel Miland Dixon Dikio (rtd.) led PAP should not be the avenue to be used by the so-called Phase 3 youths to destabilise the region.

“Col. Dikio (rtd.) has been the only amnesty coordinator that has refused to stay in Abuja and administer the office. He decentralised the amnesty office by conducting town hall styled interactions with amnesty beneficiaries without segregation. He conducted a balanced audit of the amnesty programme and stopped issues of delay in payment of amnesty stipends, protest or violence by beneficiaries.

“Col. Dikio’s management and administration of the PAP has shown a high level of Midas touch that has changed over a decade negative narratives of the intervention agency.

“We are relieved as frequent agitations that marred previous PAP Coordinators due to their poor performances has subsided. If these people issuing threats are genuine, they would have noticed the structural changes in place in the running of the PAP, and how beneficiaries stipends are paid regularly, new training and the retraining of beneficiaries in order to build capacity among ex-militants have been unfettered.”

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