Senator Ovie Omo-Agege

By Kingsley Okoye

Deputy Senate President, Sen. Ovie Omo-Agege, on Wednesday appealed to members of the Reformed Niger Delta Avengers (RNDA) to stop their planned attacks on oil facilities in the region.

His appeal came on the heels of recent threats by a coalition of nine militant groups in the Niger-Delta expressing readiness to resume hostilities by attacking oil and gas facilities.

Omo-Agege made the appeal when he hosted a delegation of the Oil and Gas Host Communities of Nigeria (HOSCON), led by elder statesman, Chief Wellington Okrika.

The militant groups, at an emergency meeting in Delta State, had announced their preparedness to dismiss the ceasefire accord with the Federal Government and engage the military forces.

They threatened to resume attacks on some identified oil facilities if nothing was done to redress the issues of poor welfare, armed oppression and inequality in standard of living between the citizens and political elite.

However, the senator noted that the execution of the threat would create economic setback for the country and additional environmental degradation of the Niger Delta environment.

He urged the agitators to sheathe their swords and allow peace to reign; assuring that their demands would be tabled before the President Muhammadu Buhari.

“With the nation still battling with the challenges posed by COVID-19 and the aftermath of #EndSARS protests which was hijacked by hoodlums, it cannot afford another militancy problem at the moment.

“Whatever it is, we must maintain peace in the Niger Delta. I say this in view of the new agitations by the Reformed Niger Delta Avengers.

“We are just coming out of the #EndSARS protest which, of course, we all witnessed how a peaceful protest was hijacked by those with sinister agenda.

“We are all witnesses to what happened afterwards even when we must acknowledge that in a democracy, protest is a right provided those that do it, do so peacefully without abridging the rights of others,’’ Omo-Agege said.

He urged HOSCON members to go back to their people in the creeks and tell them their leaders were working for their good.

“We are here to champion their request; we don’t want the peace of the Niger Delta to be disturbed or disrupted, and we are here to protect the interest of our people.

“Yes, I may be the deputy president of the Senate today, but I am first of all, a senator representing my people, I am here and I am your own, I am your eye, we shall not disappoint you.

“Take this commendation to our brothers in the creeks that they have done well in keeping the peace and we will table their request before the authorities as they have channelled that request through me. We shall ensure the right things are done,’’ he stressed.

NAN