Northern youth occupy NNPC

A group, The Amalgamated Arewa Youth Groups, vowed on Thursday to mobilize no fewer than 10,000 young people to protest against the award of N4 billion pipeline surveillance contract to the repentant militant of the Niger Delta, Mr Ekpemupolo, popularly known as Tompolo by the Federal Government of Nigeria and the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited.

The group said occupying the NNPC in Abuja became necessary to protest the alleged injustice against the north.

The AAYG also accused the Chief of Defense Staff, General Lucky Irabor, of allegedly playing the ethnic card by handing over the “security of the country’s economic valves and nerves” to Tompolo, which it said was in no way overridden. differed from the AAYG. call to hire mercenaries to deal with terrorism or banditry in the north.

The group had issued a seven-day ultimatum within which the federal government or its representative (the NNPC) would either revoke the contract or be forced to protest or take legal action.

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The group, made up of 225 youth organizations from the northern states and the Federal Capital Territory, has already officially written to the Nigeria Police Force, Abuja, about the proposed protest scheduled for Tuesday.

The letter, dated August 22, 2023 and signed by the group’s Convener, Mock Kure, and obtained by The PUNCHwas entitled: ‘Notice of protest against the Pipeline Surveillance Contract awarded to Ekpemupolo (Tompolo) Government by the Federal Government of Nigeria and the NNPC Limited, effective Tuesday, August 30, 2022’ and copied to the FCT Police Command, the Director of the Department of State Services and the NNPC Limited.

The Convener, Mock Samuel-Kure, noted in the letter that the group, with the primary objective of promoting and protecting the interests of the North, had decided to protest under the Abuja Police Command against “the irritating and incendiary Pipeline Surveillance Contract which has been Awarded to Ekpemupolo by the FG and the NNPC, with effect from Tuesday, August 30, 2022, for the NNPC Limited, Headquarters, Abuja.”

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According to him, in order to effectively manage the crowd that would participate in the ongoing civil action, we made plans to mobilize 10,000 people to the NNPC headquarters to push through our demands.

The letter read in part: “Sir, as you know, Northern Nigeria has suffered so much from the activities of bandits and terrorists. Our people came to the sad conclusion that our security agencies are overburdened, so we have advocated the use of mercenaries to help restore peace in our troubled region. Delta, sharply rebuked the patriotic appeal by assuring the Nigerians that the armed forces are more than capable of nipping the situation in the bud.

“It is our considered opinion that handing over the security of our country’s economic valves and nerves to Tompolo is in no way different from hiring mercenaries. The only difference is that our people can continue to suffer at the hands of terrorists, but crude oil, considered more important than the blood of northerners, needs the protection of mercenaries.

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“If the armed forces have come to the sad conclusion that they cannot secure the Niger Delta and Nigeria in general, our group is always ready to rally our youth to also secure our communities if they are adequately supported legally and financially.

“We are also concerned that the federal government is still funding the amnesty program but that peace has refused to return to the creeks. What difference does N4bn’s contract per month awarded to Tompolo make? In the course of our protest, we will demand the demolition of either the Amnesty Office or the newly awarded contract.

“Alternatively, our group will push for a similar security contract to be awarded to young people from different geopolitical zones to enable them to protect their regions, as the federal government no longer trusts the country’s security agencies.”

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