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Published On: Thu, Nov 21st, 2013

Why Oil Theft Will Continue in Niger Delta- Ex-Militant Leaders Forum

Minister of Petrleum Resources, Mrs Deziani Allison-Madueke


LAGOS NOVEMBER 21ST (URHOBOTODAY)-Ebikeme (not real name) successfully attended the Amnesty Orientation Camp at Obubra in Cross River State some years ago.
Almost three years after, he has not been penciled down for any of the Presidential Amnesty Programme’s Skills/Vocational Training Programmes and so he had no choice but fall to the advice of a friend who wanted him to join a lucrative oil theft racket with a heavy but covert presence in the Southern Ijaw area of Bayelsa State.
Ebikeme in turn, has enlisted more than fourteen (14) of his former Obubra camp mates and today they live pretty comfortable lives working with their non-Nigerian partners who provide them with the technical know-how and technological tools to access crude oil through large pipes that pass through certain strategic locations in their communities.

Ebikeme and his colleagues do not feel guilty in what they do. They actually believe that ‘oil theft’ (as the government would like to call it) is far better and more honorable than kidnapping and hostage taking. They believe that they are from oil producing communities and since the
Amnesty programme is not ready to draft them for its ‘many training programmes’, they should at least find a way to eke a living.
However, the truth is that before Ebikeme and his colleagues chose to go to work on oil pipelines and channel its products for themselves and their sponsors, their names had been replaced at the Amnesty office with people who were not at all involved in the armed agitation in the Niger Delta sometimes in connivance with some of the former militant leaders from Bayelsa and Delta state.
In the end, non-militants are ferried to training institutions around the world while the true ex-militants are left to their fate in their communities. Little wonder they are all now heading for the pipelines and Nigeria is again crying for it. Billions of dollars worth of crude oil has been channelled away from pipelines in the creeks to waiting vessels offshore.
Kingsley Kuku, head of the amnesty office, in active connivance with some of the former militant leaders, replaces the names of the true militants with non-militants including some from Non-Niger Delta communities and then awards educational scholarships as well as training scholarships to these non-militants. In frustration and having being betrayed by some of
their leaders, some of these young lads resort to oil facility sabotage so that they can survive and sustain their families but we believe that some are beginning to prefer it over the Amnesty Programme itself.
Fortunately enough, it is not all the militant leaders that have betrayed those that they led. Some others have come out to publicly condemn the hideous activities that have been going on at the Presidential Amnesty Programme.
We commend our leaders Asari Dokubo, General Boyloaf, General Egberipapa and the many others who have stood on the path of truth and have chosen to speak up for their many members who have been cut off from a program that was supposed to help improve their lives.
We condemn the ex-militant leaders assembly led Pastor Reuben which has, for some time now, for a small fee, been used to blackmail legitimate ex-militant leaders through paid advertisements and media interviews. In the past few months, they have each enjoyed Five million naira (N5million) cash payments and then all expense paid trips to South Africa JUST so that they will be WILLING to fall to Kingsley Kuku’s efforts to jaundice our cause. And FALL they did.
Posterity will indeed punish them.
We commend the leaders of the Niger Delta Awareness Coalition (NDAC) who have for months now been assisting us on how to use the power of Enlightenment, Awareness & Education to engage the media and alert the public on the despicable fraud that now pervades the Presidential Amnesty Programme.
We have nothing against President Goodluck Jonathan BUT it will be a shame for the President not to see that there are leeches around him that work hard to destroy every little success that he may have gained. These leeches even blackmail the President behind his back. Yet the President
continues to keep them. How unfortunate.

Diepreye J Dikibo
Publicity Secretary
Ex Militant Leaders Forum

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