Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta and Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), Brig-Gen. Paul Boroh (rtd), has denounced the recent attack on oil and gas pipelines in the Niger Delta by some aggrieved elements.
The PAP coordinator, who spoke to journalists in Abuja, against the backdrop of the recent attack on the Chevron Abiteye pipeline in Delta State, said the act is condemnable as it poses grave danger not only to the region but also to the Nigerian economy.
“Pipeline vandalism is an avoidable self-inflicted agony. It is unreasonable to engage in such criminal activity not only because of the resultant economic effect on the country but particularly as it also negatively affects the Niger Delta environment. The act of vandalising pipelines is counter-productive apart from it being a crime against the state.
“Those involved in this nefarious activity are economic and environmental saboteurs. It will do well for them to refrain from it as my office is always open to dialogue regardless of their grievances.
“The Federal Government already has in place a well-structured reintegration programme for youths of the region, which has helped in maintaining the peace and stabilizing security of the region. The Amnesty Programme has made militancy unattractive in the region mainly because of the government’s sincerity and commitment to the programme. The proper thing is for those behind such activity to embrace dialogue,” Boroh said.
The Amnesty boss commended security agencies for their commitment to ensuring peace in the region.
He warned that his office would not hesitate to delist and bring to book any beneficiary of the programme that engages in criminal activity.
A group, Niger Delta Avengers, recently claimed responsibility for the attack on oil pipelines in the region, fuelling fears of a resurgence of militancy which was prevalent in the Niger Delta before June 2009 when the late President Umaru Yar’Adua granted amnesty to youths who hitherto bore arms and were sabotaging oil pipelines.