Ex-militants in N’Delta worry over a letter against Sylva

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– Chairmanship aspirant in Gbaramatu promises qualitative leadership

By Loveth Ojogun

Some former militants, under the auspices of Leadership, Peace and Cultural Development Initiative, on Friday, September 6, distanced themselves from a petition accusing Minister of State, Petroleum, Chief Timipre Sylva, of plotting to remove the presidential adviser on amnesty, Prof Charles Dokubo.

The ex-militants disowned the petition saying they knew nothing about the publication and demanded an apology from those behind it.

This came as the leader of the umbrella organisation of all the former militants who accepted amnesty under the first phase, Pastor Reuben Wilson on Friday announced his resignation as leader of the forum of ex-militant leaders.

In an open letter to President Muhammadu Buhari- the authors had accused the Minister of State, Petroleum, Chief Timipre Sylva, of plotting to remove the presidential adviser on amnesty, Prof Charles Dokubo.

Already, two of the former militants, ‘General’ Nico Sintei from Akwa Ibom State and ‘General’ Dari Koro from Bayelsa State said in separate interviews on Friday, that they knew nothing about the publication and demanded an apology from those behind it.

They also accused Sylva of working in consonance with some PDP chieftains in Delta State to frustrate Dokubo and ensure that he was sacked.

Specifically, they accused Sylva of holding a meeting with a certain David Otuaro, whom they said was related to High Chief Government Ekpemupolo, popularly called Tompolo, as part of efforts to dislodge Dokubo.

According to them, Sylva’s actions were inimical to the president’s dreams for the Niger Delta. They urged the president to warn Sylva to stop further actions against Dokubo so that the peace in the region would not be punctuated.

Reacting, Sintei, whose name appeared as part of the signatories, said, “This is fraud. It is impersonation. I want you to tell the whole world that I knew nothing about that publication.

“If they don’t apologise, I will not take it kindly. My name has been used against my wish. I don’t know anything about that write-up. Somebody told me they saw my name in Vanguard newspaper, that I joined in writing a petition against Sylva.”

Also reacting, Wilson, who was the president of the Leadership, Peace and Cultural Development Initiative, the umbrella body for leaders of the various former militant groups said it was disappointing for him to have found the names of his colleagues in the newspaper.

He said, “When I drew their attention to the publication, they were shocked. They confirmed to me that they did not know anything about the publication; that nobody even consulted them before they went ahead to include their names.

“I have resigned as their leader and I have disowned any of them who may have conspired against true sons of the Niger Delta like Sylva and Tompolo. If anybody was paid to ridicule Sylva and Tompolo, it will not be well with such people. I have spoken to some of the people whose names I saw there and for the person who did this, judgement day is approaching soon.

“We cannot show this kind of disregard to our leaders. Sylva is our father. If anybody has any issues with Tompolo or with Sylva, they should settle it by themselves and not try to bring in these freedom fighters. We are not happy at all about this.

“Those guys whose names they used there are my people. I am their leader. I totally condemn the fraudulent publication and the criminally use of my people’s names in the said publication. We will go to court on this matter.”

Meanwhile, an aspirant for the Benikrukru chairmanship seat in Gbaramatu Kingdom, Mr. Solomon Eris Odu in separate stament promised to offer quality representation to his community if given the mandate.

Odu, a former Public Relation Officer (PRO) of the community, stated this in an interview in Warri recently, saying, “I will work together with leaders and stakeholders of the community to ensure that everyone benefits from the government.

“We will empower both our women, men and youths as well as award scholarships to indigent students at all levels of education.”

He  added that with proper planning, he would create a harmonious atmosphere and environment for business and oil companies to thrive in the area through the establishment of small-scale industries, entrepreneurship and skill acquisition programmes and also put in place necessary infrastructure that would impact on the people.