….Urges Reformed Niger Delta Avengers to allow peace to reign
By Lateef Ibrahim, Abuja
A security expert and chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Mr Jackson Lekan Ojo has advised that no stone should be left unturned in ensuring peace in Niger Delta region, cautioning that anything short of that could lead to the collapse of the nation’s economy.
Lekan Ojo, who is a certified member of the International Security Association, Switzerland, further harped on the need to handle the issue of security in the oil rich Niger Delta with care, warning that if oil production stops in the Niger Delta, the economy of this country will be grounded.
According to him, if the economy of Nigeria is grounded, such will surely affect the entire Africa.
Speaking against the backdrop of the recent ultimatum/threat by a group, the Reformed Niger Delta Avengers, that they would not allow the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, to defend its budget for the year 2021the National Assembly, the security expert advised that such should not be allowed to happen.
According to him, “So, recently the Reformed Niger Delta Avengers said they would not allow NDDC to defend its budget for 2021, whereas year 2020 ending soon, NDDC had no budget. This should not be allowed to continue.
“If the people listened to them and there is no budget for year 2021 that will be 24 months of no budget in Niger Delta and at the end of the day, if the people of that place (Niger Delta region) start agitating; we will have a problem in our hands.
“Two days of the Avengers coming out in the Niger Delta, Nigeria will feel it more than two months of what we see in Lagos recently during the EndSARS protests.
“I have been a voice for the country by the special grace of God, I am a chieftain of APC but most of the times when I talk some people ask me if I am still a member of the party.
“What is wrong is wrong. I am not being sponsored by anybody and I can tell you that no one is bankrolling me.
“In security as in journalism, there are some information you have that if you divulge them, there will be problems. “Yes, I know that the defunct Niger Delta Avengers has some very educated members who are highly exposed. “There are some figures at the federal level that are behind this, pushing these boys to heat up the tension in the Niger Delta.
“If Niger Delta had lost 12months budget and they are still clamouring for another 12months just because there is somebody somewhere that said it can no longer be business as usual, there is a problem.
“So I believe a lot of things need to be done because if there is no peace in the Niger Delta, there won’t be peace in Nigeria and the economy of Nigeria can collapse if nothing is done in the Niger Delta.
“We must be careful because if oil production stops in the Niger Delta, the economy of this country will be grounded and when it is grounded, it will affect the entire Africa.
“Some powerful figures are behind the demand by the Reformed Niger Delta Avengers that Chief Godswill Akpabio, the Minister of Niger Delta should not be allowed to defend the NDDC 2021 budget until a substantive board of the agency is inaugurated.
“They are clearly trying to frustrate the Minister but at the end, the Niger Delta as a whole will suffer for it.
“What they should have been doing is calling for increment in the budgetary allocation to the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs and the NDDC, not pushing for the budget to be put on hold.
“But I want to tell you clearly, the Niger Delta Avengers are not illiterates and they are not demonic. Some of them are Christians while others are Muslims. “They need to be talked to and I am sure they will see reasons to back out eventually. Before the expiration of the 21 days ultimatum, I believe something positive will happen”, he said.