By Uche Amunike
The amalgamated Arewa Youth Groups (AAYG), which is made up of a coalition of 225 northern youth groups has expressed their anger as Former Niger Delta Militants, Government Ekpemuopolo, popularly known as Tompolo wins contract of N4 billion, by demanding that the Federal Government withdraws the Pipeline surveillance contract.
Speaking through a statement issued by their spokesman, Comrade Victor Duniya, the northern group frowned against what they termed the ‘illegal romance between Tompolo and the federal government’ and stated that the news of the contract awarded to Tompolo came to them as a rude shock.
It partly read: ‘Our group gathered that the said contract is meant to end illegal bunkering, illegal refining, and other forms of oil theft in the Niger Delta.’
‘We are particularly concerned that in the early days of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration when Tompolo was declared wanted by the EFCC, there was the uncontrolled bombing of oil facilities in the Niger Delta, which contributed in so small measure to dragging Nigeria into recession.’
They further lamented: ‘it is most unfortunate that the government and management of the NNPC Limited will submit themselves cheaply to the blackmail of a man whose major business initiative is to raise arms against the state, and assemble cultists from his region, in his country home to do his bidding, as the major qualification to be awarded contract to protect oil installations in the Niger Delta region of our country.’
The fact that Tompolo wins contract worth N4bn, according to Duniya can be likened to a simple case of abdication of responsibilities. According to him, 1,000,000 of his likes will not ordinarily succeed 200,000 Nigerians.
Hear him: ‘We are however not surprised that the Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor, who ought to have rallied the armed forces to restore peace in the Niger Delta, the same way he is doing in the South East, South West and the Boko Haram ravaged North East, shows that he has allowed the Niger Delta solidarity to overtake national interest, a virtue our armed forces is known for’, while calling for his resignation, along with other service chiefs.
Duniya posited that information reaching the Arewa Youths led ‘to the award of the contract to the roles Honourable Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipre Sylva and Group Executive Director of the NNPC Limited (Upstream), Engr Adokiye Tombomelye played’, claiming that ‘they are said to be the people who brokered the deal’.
They have therefore demanded that President Muhammadu Buhari to sack Sylva and Tombomelye for placing regional and ethnic interests over national interests.
They also asked for the sack of the NNPC’s GMD for using his office to reward criminality and treasonable tendencies instead of patriotism.
They went ahead to demand as well, that the Chief of Defense Staff, Irabor, as well as other service chiefs be sacked for not using force which was at their disposal to end oil bunkering in the Niger Delta.
Finally, even as Tompolo wins contract of N4bn, the AREWA youths still suggested that he is appointed the Chief of Defense Staff, since he has the capacity to fight oil bunkering, unlike all the service chiefs put together.