Buhari/May 29: ‘Ex-Militants Playing Waiting Game’

President Muhammadu Buhari
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President-Elect, Muhammadu Buhari
President-Elect, Muhammadu Buhari
The All Progressives Congress (APC) and the President-Elect, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, may have triumphed in the March 28 Presidential Elections, and very rightly so. But if feelers coming from the creeks of the Niger Delta are anything to go by, both the APC and the incoming president will need to pull off a complex pacification programme in the hitherto troubled region for oil to continue to flow into the coffers of the nation.
Reason: The core of the rested militancy in the Niger Delta may have adopted a wait-and-see attitude to the incoming federal administration, with a view “to either going back to the creeks or cooperating with the new government,” The Dream Daily has been told.
A credible source from the region told The Dream Daily: “Many of you would say that the struggle for the emancipation of the Niger Delta had ended with the amnesty programme and especially with the election into office of President Goodluck Jonathan in 2011. That is wrong. In the last six years, the struggle had continued by other means, all to the end of emancipating the Niger Delta. It must be said that we have not achieved the desired result, which is resource control primarily for the Niger Delta and by extension for other regions or state.
“We have tried by peaceful means to ask Nigeria to apply the oil resource for the development of the Niger Delta but we have failed even under the Presidency of a son of the Niger Delta. The region still only get 13 per cent from oil and the National Assembly has also refused to pass the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), which should take care of the oil-producing communities in the Niger Delta. What has been done about the court-ordered clean up of oil spills in the Niger Delta and compensation to the affected people and community? Nothing! Of course none of these and others can be achieved realistically now or before May 29. We shall continue to press for the region’s demands even under Gen. Buhari. We’ll wait and see but it is up to the incoming government to keep the engagement a peaceful one or make it otherwise.”
Recently, a former militant leader in Niger Delta, Mr. Ateke Tom, appealed to Gen. Buhari to continue with the amnesty programme initiated by late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua and retained by President Jonathan.

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