Ex-militants target Amaechi

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…declare him persona non-grata in Niger Delta

• DHQ ready to defend Nigeria’s sovereignty

• Troops arrest top warlord

From PRINCE MONDAY WHISKEY, Regional Editor, South South

THE Minister of Transport, Rt. Hon. Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi may have overcome the vicious troubles that dovetailed into the general elections and subsequent brouhaha that pitched him against the incumbent Governor of Rivers State, Onyesom Wike. But, unknown to him, his battle for political survival is far from being over.

In a unanimous decision, ex-militants and notable freedom fighters have declared him persona non-grata in the Niger Delta region for allegedly having the effrontery to clandestinely concoct plans to unilaterally scrap the Nigerian University of Marine Technology in Okerenkoko, Gbaramatu Kingdom, Warri South-West Local Government Council of Delta State.

The ex-militants, who see his action as an affront and an “ignoble conduct” especially as a Niger Delta indigene, midweek, met in Anang, Akwa-Ibom State to review his role concerning the purported cancellation of the only University in the River side communities of the Niger Delta, saying he worked against the interest of the region.

Coordinator of the meeting and spokesperson of the Third Phase Presidential Amnesty Programme, General Ebiowei Perekebena (a.k.a General Hot Water) disclosed to National Daily that the meeting reviewed the situation surrounding the purported scrapping of the Maritime University which was crafted as part of the Presidential Amnesty Programme.

SEE MORE: Court issues fresh warrant of arrest on Tompolo

He wondered with sadness, how Amaechi, a citizen of the South-South region could seat before distinguished senators of the National Assembly and mislead them into believing that the Federal University of Marine Technology, Okerenkoko was in its infancy stage and therefore cannot survive when in fact, the University has a well-furnished campus at Kurutie with all the paraphernalia of a standard university with functional Governing Council led by the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of the Council, Professor Viola Onwuliri, Vice-Chancellor, Professor Maureen Ongoebe Etebu, including other staffer like the Registrar, Mr. Anho Nathaniel Eseoghene, Bursar, Mr. Hassan Bakari and Librarian, Baba Shaib Aduku.

Amaechi’s sins
Adumbrating other sins the Transport Minister was said to have committed against the region and the university, General Perekebena averred that the Minister deliberately instructed the Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) to withhold the N2 billion duly appropriated in the 2015 NIMASA budget needed for the smooth commencement of admission processes for the 2015/2016 academic session and the final take-off of the University.

The militants therefore consider his actions as not only “wicked and noxious governmental policy that is retrogressive and anti-development,” but a cog in the wheel of progress.

General Perekebena said, “If the photographic evidence now before our group is anything to go by, then we can conveniently conclude that the Transport Minister, Rotimi Amaechi is not only a petty liar but has a hidden agenda to ensure that the over N25 billion that government has expended in the University is wasted without justification.”

According to him, the entire freedom fighters of the Niger Delta are shocked beyond words, to see one of their own mislead Nigerians into believing that a university that has gigantic structures and some of the best intellectuals the Nigerian nation can boost of and is today being regarded as a university in its teething stage just for selfish political expediency.

ALSO SEE: Pipeline attack: Ijaw group hails JTF over arrest, says Tompolo is vindicated

Speaking further he said, “If our son the Minister has any issue with the university, the right thing to be done was for him to go on familiarization tour of the University permanent site at Okerenkoko and the take-off campus at Kurutie all in Gbamaratu Kingdom rather than sit in Abuja and take such a harsh political decision that impedes on the progress of the region.

FG’s input before approving university
Ex-militants target Amaechi “It is more annoying especially when the Federal Government of Nigeria, before the take-off of the university carried out a detailed Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA); feasibility study to approve the suitability of the current location; the approval of the National University Commission (NUC) and, also the approval by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) the establishment of the University as a part of a Presidential Amnesty Programme requirement contained in 2009 Presidential amnesty disarmament agreement reached with the freedom fighters of the Niger Delta.
General Hot Water averred that the ex-warlords did not only labour for its establishment but clamoured for the university before it was approved, noting that it was not a gift from the Federal Government that anybody could just come and take away. “We laboured for it and the documents are there for anybody to see and if anyone decides to politicize the establishment of the Marine University such a person must think beyond the immediate implications.

Militants resolve
He disclosed that the ex-militants have vowed to do everything within their powers to resist any move to sabotage the dream of having the university.

DHQ reacts
But, ostensibly sensing ominous danger brewing in the Niger Delta, the Defence Headquarters (DHQ) last week warned group of persons who have threatened to embark on acts of sabotage against the Nigerian state to desist from it or be ready to face the wrath of the law.

The warning which was contained in a statement by the Director, Defence Information, Brig Gen Rabe Abubakar said in Abuja that the military authorities would not condone any acts by individuals or group that is capable of breach to security and economic sabotage in the Niger Delta or in any part of the country.

The warning comes on the heel of reports that a top warlord was arrested midweek by military ‎men on the trail of militants behind the recent bombings and blowing of pipelines in the Niger Delta.

Tompolo vindicated?

Ex-militants target AmaechiA pan-Ijaw socio-political organisation, Niger Delta Youth for Equity and Justice (NDYEJ), weekend commended the Joint Task Force (JTF) for the arrest of suspected criminals behind the recent gas pipeline explosion from Escravos to Warri.

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Spokesman of NDYEJ, Sam MacPepple, in a statement in Port Harcourt, Rivers State on Friday said that the arrest was commendable, especially coming after “accusing fingers have been pointed at the wrong direction” on a repented Niger-Delta militant, Government Ekpemupolo, popularly known as Tompolo.

He stated that the arrested leader of the gang, Nengi Ikiba, was a well-known thug of the All Progressive Congress (APC) loyal to former Governor Timipre Sylva of Bayelsa State and would help the authorities in their investigations.

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The group recalled that Tompolo had before the incident raised the alarm that some people were planning to bomb crude oil facilities in the Niger Delta region and attribute it to him but that his concern was disregarded.

Macpepple, however, said that the arrest of Nengi Ikiba and his group had vindicated Tompolo as he urged the security agencies to investigate the suspected culprits thoroughly to “unmask their sponsors and motives behind their action”.