Nigeria’s Niger Delta region is richly blessed with oil deposits and is also one of the most troubled regions in the Gulf of Guinea.
With exploratory activities by foreign and local energy companies threatening the livelihoods and existence of locals in the host communities, youths from the region have constantly risen in protest through militancy.
In 2020 alone, 195 kidnap-for-ransom cases at sea on the Gulf of Guinea, standing for 95% of the global total were reported. Piracy and abduction of oil workers have also since become a sport for militants who have been neglected and left to live in the ruins.
On News Central’s #VillageSquareAfrica on Monday, a former Niger Delta Agitator, Security Consultant and a beneficiary of the Federal Government amnesty under Late Former President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, Boyloaf Ebikabowei disclosed that the heavily advertised cleanup exercise said to have commenced in the Niger Delta is nothing but a ruse.
It was just for the news and nothing of such was ever done in the Niger Delta communities, Ebikabowei retorted.
The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and the Ministry of Niger Delta led by Godswill Akpabio has not done anything of note, and the people of the region are not feeling their impact.
Ebikabowei called “General” was however full of praises for the current head of the amnesty programme, Charles Quaker Dokubo.
He also admits Dokubo has listening ears and he’s better than the others before him. He has called to listen to us and have dialogues with us and has shown interest in the development of the Niger Delta.
He added that life has been good to him and others who accepted amnesty as they’ve chosen the path of peace and can’t renege on their decision.
Conflict Is More Financially Rewarding
Ebikabowei added that he made much more income during the times of security crisis than when during the times of peace, but he agreed to amnesty and will stick to his word.
The ex-Commander of the Movement of the Emancipation of Niger Delta (MEND) condemned the Nigerian government for not doing enough for the Ijaw people.
When asked if he has ever met President Muhammadu Buhari, he laughed and said not everyone in his Government has met him; “there’s no way I or any of us will meet him.”