Ex-Niger Delta agitators under phase 1-3 of the federal amnesty programme on have marched to the Government House, Asaba, to protest an alleged plan to revoke their pipeline surveillance jobs.
The youths, who displayed placards of various inscriptions, called on Governor Ifeanyi Okowa to intervene and stop the plans by some politicians in the state to hijack surveillance contract given to them under the amnesty programme.
Leader of the group, Mr. Lord Tennyson, who spoke to journalists, said the aggrieved youths decided to march down to Asaba to register their grievances over plans to take the surveillance jobs away from them.
“We have uncovered plans by some political jobbers and cabal in Abuja to hijack our pipeline surveillance contract. But we will not allow that to happened in our communities.
“That is why we decided today to take our protest to our governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa to intervene and forestal any breach of the existing peace in the state.
“We consider the planned action of these cabal as an infringement an deliberate attempt to render thousands of Delta youths, who have been the beneficiaries of the contract, jobless,” Tennyson said.
According to him, the pipeline surveillance and protection contract for the Trans-Farcados Trunk Terminal has been the job of the ex-agitators under the amnesty programme of the federal government.
The youth leader stated that the contract job has helped many youths in the affected communities by providing foods on their tables as well as ensuring the sustenance of peace in the communities.
He further explained that only recently, the youths got wind that a certain Captain Hosa Okunbo and his co-horts are now fronting a company know as Ocean Marine has been awarded the contract.
“We recently learn that Captain Hosa Okunbo backed by some political jobbers in Abuja has been awarded the contract to deny us of our source of livelihood.
“This has become a major concern to us because we cannot imagine how these people will want to render us jobless. We will never accept that.
“So, we want Governor Okowa as a matter of urgency and importance to intervene so as to avert the impending chaos that these greedy people want to impose on not just our communities, but the state in general,” Tennyson said.
Addressing the youths, Delta Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Peter Mrakpor appealed to them to maintain peace and allow the state government to investigate the allegation.
He recalled that the Global Memorandum of Understanding (GMoU) between the operators of the OML 30, Heritage Energy Oil Services Limited and the host communities was recently signed and documented.
According to him, the agreement provided that surveillance of facilities will be the job of Deltans and had rejected any involvement of non-Delta personnel or companies.
Mrakpor however assured the protesting youths that he would take the matter to Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, when he returns to the State.
“I want to appeal to you to remain calm. The state government will treat this matter urgently, I will take your complain to the governor as soon as he returns to the state,” he said.