Concerned former militant leaders and youth leaders from the Nine states of the Niger Delta region on Tuesday attributed the alleged insincerity and double standards adopted by the minister of state for Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu as reasons for the renewed attacks on oil and gas pipelines by agitated militants in the region.
According to the angry youths, though the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources met and dialogue with groups and stakeholders from the region on the need for peace and stop to the continued destruction of oil and gas installations in the region, the discussions and delay tactics allegedly employed by the Minister were confirmed by the agitated youths and it instigated renewed anger and attacks along the creeks and waterways of the region.
The concerned ex-militant leaders and youth leaders, under the aegis of the Niger Delta Ex-Agitators Forum, in a statement signed by its president, Prince Amaibi Hornby, Henry Binidodogha known along the creeks as General Egbema 1 from Edo State and Hon. Salvation Ibina Rufus,stated that preliminary investigations into the reason for the renewed attacks on oil pipelines showed that “the militants are angry that several meetings held with the Petroleum minister are not yielding results because of his alleged complacency in handling critical issues and his outright refusal to fulfill promises made to the Niger Delta youths whom he had on several occasions assured of a better deal in an attempt to cajole them to be on his side”.
“Kachikwu is inconsistent with his words, he makes promises from the both sides of his mouth. Raises the hope of the youths and dash it into pieces. The Minister is not truthful; he gives different narratives in different meetings on how the Federal Government intends to develop the region. What he tells the youths is entirely different from what he tells the elders, hence he has failed in his strategy to restore peace”
The Ex-agitators and other non-violence groups stated that though they had earlier thrown their weight behind the Petroleum Minister over his initial efforts to assist the President,Muhammadu Buhari to resolve some of the issues,” but are forced to make a U turn since the Minister has decided to play politics with a serious issue of both National and International concern”.
“The youths accused Kachikwu of speaking from both sides of his mouth. Kachikwu said he is not a politician but he constantly exhibit the use and dump traits. He says one thing to one group of elders and say another to the next group. The reason why the leaders are not coming up with a common stand is because of the ministers divide and rule system, with the way Kachikwu is going it is obvious that he has no strategy in his kitten again”.
“While it is important that the issues that necessitated the resurgence of militancy ought to be addressed you can’t get results through desperate, smart and fifth columnist kind of approach. It is not enough to call leaders and media to do propaganda just to score cheap point. All the decisions and strategies that have come out of it, how is the minister going about the implementation”
“The youth group noted that though Kachikwu is not the reason why the NDA commenced militancy, they lamented his wrong handling of the matter saying it is the reason for the continued crisis in the Niger Delta.They said that it has become obvious that Kachikwu cannot bring peace in the Niger Delta, as the Ex freedom fighters who once gave him their support by tightening up some strategic loose ends that NDA couldn’t penetrate have distanced themselves from him.”
According to them, areas such as Rivers, Akwa Ibom and other critical areas in Bayelsa states where attacks have been foiled due to massive youth support have resolved to withdraw their loyalty to the minister.
While accusing the minister of attempting to set the Niger Delta Youths on a collision course, the youth group maintained that Kachikwu’s approach to issues is capable of undermining Mr President’s peace building efforts in the Niger Delta.
“Kachikwu can fool some people sometimes but cannot fool all the people all the time. Kachikwu naivety is the chief reason why NDA commenced hostility even as the dialogue was going on. We use to think the NDA were wrong in all their actions, but events are unfolding that reflects the reason why they are behaving the way they do. While we still condemn the use of violence and destruction of oil and gas installations and our ecosystem and Sue for dialogue, we are convinced that Dr Ibe Kachikwu cannot restore peace in the region. His tactics is capable of tearing the region apart”.
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