By Emma Amaize
WARRIâ€”SECURITY has been fortified at the Federal Government-owned Independent Power Project (IPP) at Kwale/Okpai in Delta State, following threats by aggrieved Ndokwa natives to disrupt the project over alleged refusal of the National Agip Oil Compnay (NAOC) to step down electricity to the people.
National President of the Ndokwa Youth Congress (NYC), Mr.Â Chimennma Okolo, said he was surprised that instead of implementing the directive issued by Federal Government, under the regime of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, the oil company sought the assistance of security agents to cow the people from agitating for their rights.
Okolo, who lamented the non-chalant attitude of NAOC to the plight of Ndokwa people in regard to the stepping-down of electricity in their land, said he was not sure the Federal Government actually wanted peace in the Niger Delta.
His words: â€œI have my doubts as to the sincerity of the Federal Government to actually do the right thing.â€
He said Ndokwa youths had issued an ultimatum to NAOC, adding that instead of constructively engaging Ndokwa people in a dialogue on how to peacefully resolve the impasse, NAOC ran to the presidency for help.
â€œIt demanded for and obtained security beef up at its facilities and the IPP. For a people who have never taken up arms, the intimidation was apparent,â€ he said.
The activist said it appeared, from what was happening at Ndokwa, that the Federal Government merely used the amnesty programme as a smokescreen to stampede genuine agitation in the region.
He said he had received threat calls from the oil company and some undisclosed federal agents, warning him to be mindful of the way he goes about the agitation for step-down of the IPP in Ndokwa land not to undermine the amnesty programme.
According to him, the federal government has only been able to buy time within which to work for genuine and lasting peace in the troubled region and not peace itself.
He said this was so because nobody amongst the legion of â€˜fightersâ€™ that laid down their arms actually took up arms against the federal government simply because they wanted to be granted amnesty, pointing out that theÂ battle cry in the region had always been and still is development- infrastructure, economic, social, and political.
He said it would be fool hardy for anyone to think that with the amnesty, lasting peace has returned to the troubled Niger Delta, saying â€œpeace is not bought, it is earnedâ€.
Okolo said â€œin the era of amnesty, one would have expected both NAOC and the NNPC to make plans for stepping down of electricity for Ndokwa people, rather they are trusting in their military mightâ€