The Amalgamated Arewa Youths Group (AAYG), an umbrella body of 225 socio-cultural, socio-economic, and apolitical groups, will on Tuesday, 30th August 2022, commence a peaceful protest against the inciting pipeline surveillance contract to Mr Government Ekpemupolo by the Federal Government of Nigeria and the NNPC Limited.
Mock Samuel Kure, the convener, in a statement, said, “In order to effectively manage the crowd that would be participating in the continuous civil action, we have concluded plans to mobilized 10,000 persons to the Head office of the NNPC Limited to press home our demands.”
According to the statement, Northern Nigeria has suffered so much from the activities of bandits and terrorists, saying that people came to the sad conclusion that the security agencies are overstretched, hence, making the case for the engagement of mercenaries to help restore peace in the troubled region.
The group alleged that the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen Lucky Irabor, a chieftain of the Niger Delta, sharply rebuked the patriotic call by assuring Nigerians that the armed forces are more than able to nip the situation in the bud.
“It is our considered view that surrendering the security of the economic valves and nerves of our country to Tompolo is not in any way different from hiring mercenaries. The only difference is that our people can continue to suffer at the hands of terrorists, but crude oil which is considered more important than the blood of northerners, need the protection of mercenaries.
“If the Armed Forces have come to the sad conclusion that they can’t secure the Niger Delta and Nigeria at large, our group is ever ready to rally our youths to secure our communities too if adequately supported legally and financially,” the statement alleged.
The group is worried that the federal government is still funding the amnesty program, yet, peace has refused to return to the creeks, asking what difference would the N4bn per month contract awarded to Tompolo makes.
“In the course of our protest, we shall demand for the scrapping of either the amnesty office or the newly awarded contract,” the statement explained.
In the alternative, the group stated it would press for the award of similar security contract to youths of various geopolitical zones to enable them safeguards their regions since the federal government no longer have confidence in the country’s security agencies.