Why I’m not surprised at renewed hostilities in N’Delta, by Mitee

Mitee said: “I’m still very proud of the recommendations of my committee towards bringing lasting peace and development in the Niger Delta region, although I have not read about the renewed attacks by the militants. I am not surprised that the militants can resume hostilities.”

Few days into the post-amnesty phase of the project, some of the militants who openly surrendered their arms alleged government’s insincerity towards the implementation of the terms of the amnesty agreement.

Speculations are rife that the posturing between the government and militants’ leaders may have culminated in the reported attack of a major Shell/Chevron crude pipeline in Abonemma, Rivers State on Saturday.

Mitee said the former militants might have been fed up by the government’s approach to re-integrating them into the society, which he said could engender fresh unrest.

“There are frustrations in the methods of implementing the amnesty and such frustrations can cause renewed attacks… Amnesty is just a part of recommendations which can bring peace in the region, there are other more pressing demands of the people which the government have to address,” Mitee said.

According to reports, MEND’s spokesman, Jomo Gbomo, said that the new onslaught was because the Federal Government had “conveniently tied the advancement of talks on the demands of MEND to President Yar’Adua, who is currently receiving medical attention in far away Saudi Arabia” while it “has not tied the repair of pipelines, exploitation of oil and gas as well as the deployment and re-tooling of troops under the aegis of the Joint Task Force (JTF) in the region to the President’s ill-health.”

Mitee blamed the government for not effectively supervising the terms of the post-agreement project, adding that the government had been neglecting the fundamental demands of the youths.

He also said he was confident that the integration of the full reports of the technical committee with the amnesty programme would have a better chance of ending the Niger Delta crisis.

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