Simon Utebor, Yenagoa
Some ex-Niger Delta militant leaders have urged President Muhammadu Buhari to consider giving pipeline surveillance contracts to youths rather than giving them to people who will not advance the peace and development of the region.
The ex-miliant leaders, under the auspices of Leadership Peace and Cultural Development Initiative, made the appeal during their meeting with the Coordinator, Presidential Amnesty Programme, Brig.-Gen. Paul Boroh (retd.).
The group, comprising leaders of the First Phase Amnesty programme, said in a statement on Monday by its Acting Chairman, Bayelsa State chapter, Mr. Bull Ifiemi, and its Public Relations Officer, Godgift Ayabowe, contended that the youth had a better grasp of the region and were in a position to ensure sustainable peace, security and development.
The LPCDI said, ”We appeal to the Presidency to consider giving the pipeline surveillance contracts to the youths in the region who know the terrain better.
”The development, no doubt, will accelerate development of the region rather than granting the contracts to a particular person or group of persons who will end up doing little or nothing to better the region.”
The ex-militant leaders also advised that the modular refineries should be operated with youths in the oil-bearing communities as stakeholders, insisting that the development would help to militate against any grievances that might occur as a result of neglect.
The group maintained that if the youth were given the opportunity to be stakeholders in the modular refineries and the surveillance contracts, they had full assurance that no youth would be involved in any form of restiveness and criminality.
They said, ”We are advising that anything pertaining to surveillance contracts in the region should be channeled through the Amnesty Office because its Coordinator, Paul Boroh, knows the leaders and youths on the ground who can ensure that the contracts are adequately executed and everybody has carried along and happy.