June 16, 2009

Expose alleged militants’ backers, AC tells FG

LAGOS—The Action Congress (AC) has asked the Federal Government to publish the documents said to have been unearthed by the military during the invasion of Camp 5 in Delta state, if indeed it is committed to ending the Niger Delta crisis.

In a statement issued in Lagos yesterday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said if media reports quoting presidency sources on the sensitive information obtained from the camp were anything to go by, the FG had been presented with a golden opportunity to embark on measures aimed at ending the crisis.

“Presidency sources were quoted as saying, on June 2, that the information at the disposal of the government contains the list of militants’ backers, said to include highly-placed government officials; details of bank accounts into which proceeds of illegal bunkering have been paid and beneficiaries of such payments.

Also included in the information, according to the media reports which are yet to be refuted, are names and addresses of foreign contacts and documents on arms purchase and names of Nigerian middlemen; dates and details of attacks on oil facilities; banks into which monies had been paid and information on plans by the militants to acquire gun ships, rocket launchers and other sophisticated weapons.

“This is indeed a rare treasure trove of information that can assist the Federal Government in its much-touted determination to seek an end to the crisis. Therefore, we call on the FG to immediately release the details to the public and begin the process of prosecuting all the suspects,” the AC said

“Since the government apparently decided to leak the information without prompting, it must be willing to go the whole hog by making all the details public, unless of course it was only grandstanding in the first instance

“We are baffled that the government has decided to withhold such sensitive details from Nigerians, over two weeks after they were supposedly unearthed.

It calls into question the government’s sincerity in seeking to end the crisis, and gives an impression that the government may be trying to shield some people listed in the documents, ’’ AC said.

The party warned that the Yar’Adua administration stands to lose credibility, especially in the oil region, if at the end of the day it was discovered that the so-called information is fake or the government has refrained from publishing it to shield some highly-placed people.