Peace Advocacy groups, made up of ex-Niger Delta militant leaders and civil rights activists, have faulted the comments of the Pan Niger Delta Elders Forum(PANDEF) against the position of the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Slyva on relocation of multi-national oil companies to the Niger Delta region.
The ex-militant leaders declared that the comment of PANDEF is misplaced, misconstrued and quoted out of context.
The advocacy groups under the aegis of the Niger Delta Advocate for Peace and Good Governance (NDAPGG) led by its National Coordinator, ‘General’ Fiawei Pathfinder, assisted by ‘General’ Peres Ayama, ‘General’ Amaebi and Comrade Kingsley, said the position of Chief Timipre Sylva was to the fact that the multi-national oil companies operating in the region would not be able to relocate their headquarters to the region without putting in place the necessary templates for achieving sustainable lasting peace in the volatile region.
According to the NDAPGG, the comment of PANDEF was a deliberate attempt to misquote the Minister despite joining hands to secure a sustainable lasting peace in the region which have created a conducive enabling environment for oil companies to relocate to the region and continue their operations.
“So, Sylva is more abreast with the fact that stakeholders from the region should work towards achieving the goals for oil companies and business to thrive peacefully in the region, because peace is the key to every development and no business could thrive in an atmosphere of violence all over the world.”
In a statement made available to Popular News, the NDAPGG stated that “the attention of the leadership of the Niger Delta Advocate For Peace And Good Governance and other peace advocacy groups in the region have been drawn to a frivolous, myopic, sentimental, and diminishing statement credited to the Pan Niger Delta Elders Forum(PANDEF) that the Minister for State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, is against the relocation of the oil multinationals to the region.
“We are aware and know that Sylva is a man of integrity and true patriot of the Niger Delta region, astute gentle man and elder statesman who has sacrificed a lot to achieve the needed peace and development in the region in many areas, and he is still deeply involved in giving a sense of belonging to the people of the Niger Delta as a elder statesman like any other persons. It is rather unfortunate, to hear the Pan Niger Delta Elders Forum, who claim to be agitating for peace and sustainable development for the region, to rise up and malign the minister and attempt to bully him over his position on the relocation of oil multinationals.”
“Why would they try to bully him for speaking the truth. If all of us join hands together as stakeholders to achieve the needed lasting peace in the region then they can conveniently move their headquarters to the region and their business. This was what the Minister of State for Petroleum meant by his statement during the visit of non-violent agitators group of Niger Delta, where the group honored him with Worthy Peace Ambassador of Niger Delta Award because of his outstanding track record.
“We thought that members of PANDEF, who claim to be elders of the region should know better that it is not proper for relocation of oil companies to the region now without addressing the key critical issues of achieving a sustainable lasting peace in the region first as it concern the well-being of the people, which would provide the enabling environment for these multinational oil companies to operate without fear or doubt when they relocate.”
“The elders of PANDEF have also failed to understand what the minister said while charging Niger Deltans, especially, young people who are either ex-agitators or stakeholders from the region to take it as our responsibility to preach and practice peace and do everything humanly possible to make sure peace is sustained and achieved in the creeks of the region, which could be the only way out to attract these IOCs to relocate to the region. We decry the comment of PANDEF because the predicament and harrowing experience of underdevelopment in the region today is not caused by President Muhammadu Buhari led APC federal government rather it was caused by some of them who were in various highly place elective positions or by appointment in governance at the federal and state level but failed to be patriots and champion the cause of the underdeveloped region. Rather, they were wining and dining with the enemies of the region.
“Let them come out in public and tell the world and Niger Deltans what they have done as individuals to add value to our lives and the region.”
The NDAPGG issued a stern warning to the various groups to desist and stop making statements that are derogatory and hate speech that has been the stock in trade of some so-called politicians and self-acclaimed elders and group of stakeholders from the region as a ‘pull down syndrome’.
“If they refuse to withdraw from their devilish and inhuman tendencies of pointing fingers and constantly attacking the Minister of Petroleum, and other Niger Delta sons and daughters who are holding offices under the President Muhammadu Buhari-led APC administration at the federal level, we would be forced to declare war against them and tag them as enemies to the peace and development of our region,”the group added.