June 11, 2009

PDP stops disclosure of militants’ sponsors — ANPP

*It’s untrue, says PDP

By Henry Umoru

ABUJA—THE ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was yesterday accused by the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) of being the brain behind the non disclosure of the names of sponsors of militants in the Niger Delta.

It would be recalled that the military had said the names were contained in the documents recovered recently from Camp 5, which was ran by Militant leader, Chief Government Ekpemupolo, alias Tompolo.

But in a swift reaction by the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), it described the accusations as total false and far from the truth, adding that as a party, it would not be dragged into unnecessary controversy.

The ANPP through its National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Emmanuel Eneukwu, however, noted that the Joint Task Force (JTF) has put in much efforts aimed at ensuring that the problem confronting the region was nipped in the bud, but alleged that the PDP was protecting those involved, adding that some of those fingered in the documents were members of the PDP.

The ANPP which urged President Umaru Yar’Adua to  order the release of the list to buttress his sincerity to handle the issue.

Part of the statement issued in Abuja yesterday reads, “The ANPP is, however, worried that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) whose leaders have their names on the infamous list of Patrons of the militants will not allow President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua to expose them.

“Our skepticism in this regard, stems from information from the Presidency, which the said list which contains also, names of retired Military Generals, is undergoing vetting from the government.

“We are worried because the attempt by President Yar’Adua and his party (PDP), to cover up those who had, for years, fuelled the criminal activities of the Niger Delta militants in return for their services in electoral brigandage in this part of the country, is not only unpatriotic but a great disservice to the people of this country.

“The list, we gathered, contains names of top political leaders in the Niger Delta, including serving and former states Governors who had pampered the militants with multi-million Dollars contracts, as well as, monthly allocations from public treasuries.

“If we all agree that the activities of the militants have done incalculable damage to our national economy, as well as, bringing our National image to disrepute within the international community, what then is the rationale in shielding those who propped them up, groomed and armed them before unleashing them on the society where they have wrecked havoc.”

The ANPP was of the view that if the names were not brought out, efforts of the JTF in the Niger Delta would be futile, adding, it “would amount to wastage of time and National resources, if President Yar’Adua fails to expose and deal decisively, everybody whose name appears on that list.

”If government “chooses to protect the major backers of the militants in the Niger Delta, because of party affiliations, then the JTF should be disbanded without further delay.”

Reacting when confronted with the allegations by ANPP,the National Publicity Secretary of PDP, Professor. Ahmed Rufai Alkali, stressed that,  “as far as we are concerned, there is no truth in the allegation”, just as he said that what was expected of the ANPP was to commend the Federal government on the various initiatives on Niger Delta, adding,  “we are still waiting to hear from them on this issue.”