Ex-militants from the South-South geo-political zone, under the aegis of National Coalition of Niger Delta Ex-Agitators, have commended President Muhammadu Buhari for sacking service chiefs and their subsequent replacement, describing it as long over due.
A statement in Abuja on Tuesday by the President of NCNDE, ‘General’ Israel Akpodoro, described the choice of the new service chiefs as square pegs in square holes.
He said, “The latest appointments by the president go to show that he remains a pan-Nigeria nationalist with the accurate sense of judgement. President Muhammadu Buhari should keep up the job by appointing credible Nigerians into positions of service, especially appointment of Special Assistant to the President and chairman of Amnesty Programme. We have resolved to support the President in his service to the country.”
Akpodoro had recently called on Buhari to ignore the threats by the leader of the Niger Delta Peoples Volunteer Force, Mujahid Dokubo-Asari, to return to the creeks following the failure of former President Goodluck Jonathan to be re-elected.
While apologising on behalf of the people for the insults Buhari received from the Niger Delta during the campaigns, he urged the government to “go for him” if Dokubo-Asari insists on his threat to return to the creeks.
The ex-militants also called on the President to review the amnesty programme of the Federal Government and contract for the protection of oil pipelines.
He had said the Jonathan’s administration was a great disservice to the people of the Niger Delta.
The ex-warlords added, “Nigerians should be patient with Buhari and give peace a chance. Buhari wants to work. Jonathan lost election because there was a free and fair election in Nigeria. Jonathan failed us because we thought that by now, all the whole roads in the Niger Delta would have been tarred.
“We are not returning to the creeks, Dokubo-Asari is on his own. Nobody should listen to him and if he makes noise, Buhari should go for him. We are appealing to this government of Buhari to do well for us. The amnesty programme should not be stopped. Boko Haram should lay down their arms and bring their agitation to government and if the amnesty is what they need, Buhari should do that for them.
“The NigerDelta people are disappointed in Jonathan. When ex-President Umaru Yar ‘Adua brought amnesty, there was an agreement that the Niger Delta should be developed. But Jonathan disappointed us; out of the 30,000 ex-agitators, about 75 per cent did not benefit from the amnesty programme under Jonathan. We fared better under Yar’Adua.”