From Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
A group, Reintegrated ex-militant Forum (REF), has slammed some youths from the Niger Delta over a recent threat to shut down critical oil infrastructures and installations in the region on alleged non-inclusion in the ongoing Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP).
It described the threat as mischievous, criminal and a deliberate attempt to discredit the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari and, therefore, urged the Federal Government to treat those behind the threat as dissidents out to disrupt existing peace in the region.
REF, in a statement by its National Coordinator, former Creek General, Tony Ebikaliade, while acknowledging that all Niger Delta youths have the right to feel aggrieved in view of the unresolved challenges in the region, however insisted it does not justify the self-acclaimed Phase 3 beneficiaries of PAP issuing threats against the nation’s critical infrastructure.
The group warned the self-acclaimed Phase 3 beneficiaries to desist from issuing threats against the nation’s infrastructures and the PAP, urging them to adhere to the principles of the PAP, or risk removal from the programme.
According to REF, PAP, under the leadership of Miland Dixon Dikio, has repositioned the programme towards achieving its core mandate and made more efforts to address grievances from ex-agitators across the region more than any other PAP administration under President Buhari.
It called on security agencies to separate dissident groups being sponsored from genuine Niger Delta youths who have embraced the various channels of communications initiated for resolution of conflict between youths and the amnesty 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 tools to destabilise the existing peace in the region.
“Though, we admit the President Buhari administration has not been fair to the region in terms of the immediate set up of the Board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), the completion of the East-West road and few others.”