Niger-Delta ex-militants and youth leaders have pledged to join Nigeria’s leading energy conglomerate, Aiteo Group, in its bid to engender more peaceful coexistence, stop pipeline vandalism, illegal oil bunkering and illegal oil refining in its areas of operation.
This consensus was reached at a recent meeting coordinated and hosted by Hon. Sobomabo Jackrich, a.k.a, Egberipapa, former leader in the Niger Delta struggle and a major stakeholder in the Aiteo NTCL, Rivers State. Egberipapa said the meeting was called as a result of the peaceful dialog between him, some other leaders and Aiteo to address issues bordering on surveillance contract and environmental pollution in the creek, river and land within the communities that host Aiteo.The representative of Aiteo, Tamunokuro Iyalla, said the management of Aiteo is ready to compensate the region, if they will quit carrying out illegal refinery and illegal bunkering activities.
“Every Community that is affected by our pipeline shall have a representative in the surveillance service. Aiteo management will visit each of the communities affected by our operation. They will discuss with CDC, the youth wing and provide support where necessary in terms of social amenities and capacity building”.
“Aiteo will not fail to settle all Bunkering persons or owners of Kpom-fire, if they withdraw from the menace…. Let it be that we join hands to fight this economic and environmental sabotage in our communities.” Tamunokuro added. He also made it clear that the coordinator of Cawthorne Channel will be Hon. Sobomabo Jackrich.
Speaking to the mammoth crowd, Hon. Sobomabo Jackrich assured the people that, the move is in the interest of everybody. He said; “This meeting is very crucial and important as it carries excellent and reasonable information that will benefit us and help restore the true nature of our environment to resuscitate the aquatic and wild life within our area.”
“The crude is destroying more than what we are harvesting out of the land and sea. So we must work to bring back the natural state of our environment.”
He added, “Though, most of us were once involved in illegal refinery and illegal bunkering activities because of our anger for the way and manner at which the region was marginalised… we have realised that such retaliation will only amount to endangering our communities and the lives of our people. This is the time to correct our mistakes and protect our territory for the interest of people of this generation and generations unborn.”
“How does it sound? A Niger Delta son tried all he can to acquire the facilities and we, Niger Delta Children are destroying it. For me, I am ready to set myself as example towards providing remedy for our mistakes.”
In his word; “We brought the idea to Aiteo that the collective move to stop illegal bunkering will work if all involved are compensated accordingly. On that note, the chairman of Aiteo said, we should meet with the people involved and come up with modalities that will tackle the issue at hand.”
Gen. Vuva, a.k.a, Creek Lion also supported the request for quitting illegal oil refinery activities by saying; “It will be very bad for us to destroy our own with our hands.”
“Aiteo approach to tackling issue in the region is definitely different. Aiteo methodology is the type that will remedy the environmental degradation of our communities unlike companies that are owned by strangers.” He added.
Several other ex-warlords, elders and women also appreciated, supported and endorsed the move to end environmental degradation within the area.
Alhaji Asari Dokubo, a popular name in the Niger Delta struggle and foremost political figure in Ijaw ethnic group also participated in the meeting. The freedom fighter said “We should all prepare to support the move to end oil bunkering. I am not making this statement because of this pipeline contract. I have never engaged myself into bunkering…. I advise we all to resist from fighting each other, we should all ensure that we work together in a way that it will benefit each other. Nobody is stronger than anybody, we are all strong men and we should work peacefully to see that each one of us is a stakeholder provided the person is ready to work with the others”
“Let us stop Oil Bunkering, especially Kpom-Fire, because if we don’t stop this danger, it will end up killing us”.
Accordingly, the members of the crowd gave their consent and pledged to stop the illegal activity.
The meeting was attended by over 1600 known and unknown faces in the Niger Delta region. Among these were Alhaji Asari Dokubo, Prince Sobrasua Odum (IYC Kalabari clan), Gen. Francis Tariah (Ocean bird), Awoala George, Gen. Daddybinto, Gen. Orinaemi Heart (Okoloba Ikpangi), Gen. Sobomabo Alalibo, Gen. Afro Victor (Gen. Iyallo), Sunjiye (Gen Rex), Prince Wisdom Amachree (Gen. Adekunle), Gen. Vuva (The Creek Lion), Gen. Jingiri, Tamunokuro Prince (Gen Boy Kaka), Gen. Usmila, Adaiyi Lawson (Gen Okobro), Gen. Abaji, Gen. Maka Robinson, Gen. Yankee, Gen. Westye Wokoma, Gen. Igonikon, Daddyboy (Gen Blaze), Gen Norman (Eweleye), Gen. Isoboye Ekineye, Gen. Daddy (Boy Bailer), Gen Lolo, Gen. Prince of the Water, Cooler Heart, Alafaa Briggs (Gen. Dontel), Gen. Ipalibo Jackson, Dakorubo Ibama (Gen. Inspector), Gen. Tonye Tobon, Gen. Dede, Gen. Iminabo and host of others.