Movement for the Survival of Izon Ethnic Nationality in the Niger Delta (MOSIEND), has called on the federal government to award the pipeline surveillance contract to two leaders of former agitators in the Niger Delta region, King Ateke Tom and Alhaji Asari Dokubo, for peace to reign in the region.
It warned that there would be tension in the Niger Delta region if Ateke and Asari were not included in the next phase of pipeline surveillance contracts to be awarded by the federal government.
MOSIEND, in a statement issued in Port Harcourt by its national president, Kennedy West, said the duo had been at the forefront of the Niger Delta struggle and have the capacity, capital and manpower to secure pipelines in the Niger Delta region.
West reminded the federal government that it took the intervention of critical stakeholders to calm the situation the last time the surveillance contracts were awarded and these leaders and other stakeholders were left out.
He said, “The duo have been at the forefront of the Niger Delta struggle and, aside having the capacity, capital and manpower to secure the pipelines, they have a lot of people they are empowering who will feel intimidated if they are not considered this time around.
“We want to remind the federal government that it took the intervention of critical stakeholders to calm the situation the last time the surveillance contracts were awarded and these leaders and other stakeholders were left out. The right thing should be done this time around – so that nobody will feel they are being sidelined.”
The MOSIEND leader stated that the duo, who are both traditional rulers in Ijaw land, should have the right of first refusal before anything else.
West said: “We also call on the Chief of Staff to the President, Femi Gbajabiamila, the Group Chief Executive Officer of NNPC Ltd., Mele Kyari, and the Minister of State for Petroleum, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, to liaise with Mr. President to facilitate it because, beyond giving these people this contract, the government should know that this is something that will attract peace to the region, and it should be given utmost importance.
“It shouldn’t just be about awarding contracts, but to achieve results which will bring about peace and development of the Niger Delta region, and we are hoping that Tinubu’s government will be fair in the distribution of these pipeline surveillance contracts to stakeholders.”