N-DELTA: PANDEF clarifies position on Surveillance and Security of Pipelines

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PRESS STATEMENT

(1). The Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF)  was taken aback  by a misleading story reported on page 12 of Vanguard Newspaper of September 22, 2017, with the  caption: “N-DELTA: FG engages 10,000 youths in Pipelines Security”, credited to one Amb. Benedict Opara, Special Adviser, Media and Publicity to one  Prince Mike Emuh, self acclaimed National Chairman of Host Communities of Nigeria, producing Oil and gas (HOSTCOM), in which various spurious assertions were made  including the launch of what he called ‘Operation Secure the Oil and Gas Pipelines, OSOGP, Nationwide” 

(2). For the avoidance of doubt and for the benefit of Federal Government and all relevant stakeholders, the development and adoption of a comprehensive program for the security surveillance of oil and gas Pipelines in the Niger Delta Region is an item in  what is now better known worldwide as the PANDEF 16 -Point Agenda, which has been adopted by the Federal Government as  the Working Document for the new vision for the development of the Niger Delta Region. 

(3). And since then, PANDEF has been in constant touch and consultation with the offices of the Honourable Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Honourable Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, the Presidential Adviser to President on Niger Delta, and   other relevant authorities towards evolving an appropriately acceptable structure for deploying a sustainable engagement process  in the oil and gas producing communities. 

(4). It is instructive to note that  between Thursday 7th to Thursday 14th, 2017, the 2nd National Council on the Niger Delta (NCND) was held at Akure with the Theme: ‘Fast-Tracking the Development and Peace in the Niger Delta Region: Options and Prospects’, where stakeholders were unanimous on the need to work  together in synergy to sustain the peace, and to  fast-track development efforts in the region. This is a Platform put together by the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs where government and all relevant stakeholders converge to articulate views and policy decisions regarding the development of the Niger Delta Region.

(5). As topical and volatile as it concerns the surveillance and security of oil and gas assets, the NCND  considered the urgent need to expedite development of the model which would be made available to all stakeholders for input and subsequent adoption, for implementation.
(6). It is spurious therefore, that a certain Mike Emuh, of HOSTCOM is claiming to have screened and engaged 10,000 youths across the Niger Delta  for a program yet to take off.  This is dangerous, and have the tendency  for igniting tension and crisis, especially given the wide interest and expectation among the youths of the oil producing communities of the region.
(7).  Our background search and visit to both the National Secretariat of HOSTCOM in Warri, Delta State, and other Stakeholders  reveal that  Mike Emuh has been impersonating  as National Chairman of HOSTCOM, engaged in  underhand deals, along with  his cohorts, to   take advantage of unsuspecting and desperate jobseekers by  collecting various sums of money in the guise of providing security and surveillance jobs for them, and that these complaints have already been lodged with the appropriate authorities, for necessary action.

(8). Since Mike Emuh’s episode began, PANDEF has been inundated with calls and representations from  various stakeholders in the region, including the authentic HOSTCOM leadership of this disturbing activities of Mike Emuh and his co-travellers, and the negative security implications for the region, and the need to nip it in the bud. This is to further give credence and reinforcemental to  two previous publications made by the HOSCOM regarding the nefarious activities of Mike Emuh.

(9). PANDEF is of the strong view  that any action by any individual of group of individuals capable of undermining the efforts by government and the relevant stakeholders in the region should be roundly condemned and frown at, in all ramifications.

(10). PANDEF therefore urges that:
(a). Security agencies should investigate the activities of Prince Mike Emuh and his cohorts, with a view to taking necessary action, as quickly as possible;

(b). advise the public to beware of the the dubious activities of Mike Emuh and his cohorts, and any other individuals and groups with similar traits;

(c). urges further the relevant officials of government of the need to speed up the development of the model for the implementation of the surveillance and security of oil and gas pipelines, in the spirit of fast-tracking development and peace in the Niger Delta Region.

Signed:
Alfred MULADE
(Coordinating Secretary, PANDEF).