President of the National Coalition of Niger Delta Ex-Agitators (NCNDE-A), Eshanekpe Israel, a.k.a Akpodoro, has berated a self-acclaimed group which issued a four-weeks ultimatum to the federal government to reverse the sack of the coordinator of the amnesty programme, Paul Boroh, warning that the security agencies won’t hesitate to crush any threat against the current administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
A coalition of nine militant groups in the Niger Delta, under the aegis of Reformed Niger Delta Avengers, has, over a week ago, given President Muhammadu Buhari four-week ultimatum to re-instate sacked coordinator of the amnesty programme.
They threatened to resume fresh attacks on oil facilities across the region if Buhari failed to re-instate the former special adviser to the President on Niger Delta on the expiration of the ultimatum.
Leader of the group, ‘General’ Johnmark Ezonbi, who handed the threat, in a statement after an enlarged meeting of the militant groups in the creek of Bayelsa state, said it was obvious that the federal government was toying with the destiny of the Niger Delta region.
They alleged that nothing tangible had been recorded since the coming of the current All Progressives Congress-led government at the centre.
Ezonbi said: “I want to warn that any intruder into our planned action in four weeks’ time if the federal government fails to reinstate Gen. Paul Boroh will be severely dealt with without mercy.
“Our attack will make security agencies in the creek very small. We are fully ready to take on anybody as we have the instrumentality of warfare that will make the biggest military might to marvel at our coordinated attacks.
“We are ready to dirty our rivers and creeks with our oil, it is better we spill it than allow government use it to develop other parts of the country.”
But on Sunday Akpodoro, who is a notable pro-Buhari ex-militant leader, noted that nobody can threaten the federal government over who manages the amnesty office maintaining that the office was a creation of the government who has the exclusive prerogative to decide who gets what, when and how, adding that people should avoid making empty and ridiculous threats that paint the region in very bad light.
Boroh was sacked over issues not unconnected with his management of the amnesty office and financial impropriety which Akpodoro noted may have warranted the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to arrest and detain the retired army general for questioning since he was booted out of office.
The vociferous ex-militant leader stated that it’s unbecoming of the Delta region particularly the ex-militants family that unknown persons just wake up and issue what he described as senseless threats that hold no water on frivolous issues that ordinarily has nothing to do with the good of the people and the region.
He wondered if it was wrong for a government who appointed “an unknown Boroh” to manage the amnesty office to sack him on discovering that he was mismanaging the office to the detriment of the good of ex-militants, saying if found wanting of corrupt enrichment, ex-militants were supposed to pelt such looter of the amnesty office with sachet water in the public and be grateful to the federal government.
He noted that Boroh’s era was marred by arm-twisting and shortchanging of ex-militants alleging that slots were cut down and coveted by officials of the amnesty office as they awarded themselves what was genuinely due to ex-agitators in a grand fraud and maladministration.
Akpodoro challenged a phase 2 amnesty leader, Paul Johnson, who pivoted the “barefooted and empty threats to resume hostility” to reveal his true identity and stop being a coward.
He stated that the coalition was prepared to work with amnesty office and security to fish out those he described as remnants of the Niger Delta Avengers, NDA whom he alleged have collected money from the former coordinator to foment trouble in the region to stampede the FG into reversing its decision on Boroh’s sack.
Like every other coordinators of the amnesty programme before him, Akpodoro said Boroh was gone forever from that office saying nobody has a monopoly of government’s appointment as he attacked what he described as the ugly sense of entitlement by some groups in the region.
“All those groups from the Niger Delta region who see the amnesty office as their exclusive preserve should drop that despicable sense of entitlement which continually impinges on the integrity of the programme.
“What makes Boroh the best manager of the programme? Is he the only person qualified from the region to head that office? Why is this particular tribe against the appointment of persons from other tribes all the time? They should know that nobody is more Niger Deltan than the other. Therefore, we must allow peace to reign in the region,” Akpodoro stated.
He called on the youth and ex-agitators to rally round the new coordinator, Professor Charles Dokubo, to succeed, noting that he has all it takes to succeed, describing him as a detribalised Nigerian who will dwarf the success if any of his predecessors.
Stressing further, Akpodoro added that Prof Dokubo remains the best man for the job saying; “he has come to fix the rot in the amnesty office with the aim of giving ex-militants a new lease of life. We must support him to succeed.”