Former militants and youth from the 111 communities under OML 30, Delta State, have stormed the Delta State Government House, Asaba, to protest the "violent infringement and deliberate attempt" to render thousands of Delta State youth jobless.
The youth, who are under the Federal Government Amnesty Phase One to Three, marched out in their thousands bearing different inscriptions and barricaded the Government House, while chanting solidarity songs.
Speaking during the protest, leader of the youth and ex-militants, Lord Tennyson, stated that the surveillance and protection of Trans-Forcados Pipeline making crude oil from their communities to the Forcados Terminal has been their duty, which has put food on the tables of thousands of homes and ensured peace in many communities of the state in the last two years.
He added: "However, Captain Hosa Okunbo, who is notorious for hijacking oil and gas security jobs in communities causing bloody communal crisis, doing haphazard works and using his political connections to muzzle discontented youth, has been employed by APC dirty rigging machine to snatch our surveillance jobs from us.
"We have learnt from very reliable sources that the intent of Captain Okunbo, his company, Ocean Marine and his presidency backers is to use the surveillance job as a mere front to siphon millions of dollars for the purpose of executing the 2019 elections in Delta State and rig their party, the APC, to power in the state. To achieve this, we gathered that the corrupt gang in the presidency has corruptly and unilaterally awarded the surveillance contract to Ocean Marine at the rate of almost five to six times of the contract award rate of the previous contractor company.
"Your Excellency, we feel that this is the point at which you, as the chief security officer of our dear state, must rise up to take steps to nip this madness in the bud to avert the impending danger that this greedy set of 'soldiers of fortune' is about to impose on not just our communities, but also our dear state. You may wonder how this is our concern. It has become our concern because we have sat down to imagine what the picture will look like when Ocean Marine successfully takes our jobs away from us, using either traditional rulers or president generals of our communities as fronts, how many youths with bustling capacities and abilities will be rendered jobless.
"We imagine what other uses can hitherto busy, but now idle youth can engage their abilities and capabilities in. We are imagining the level of confrontations and conflicts we might start to have to witness and how much work the security agencies might have to be dealing with by the time these thousands of jobless, able-bodied youth start engaging those they will inevitably blame for their new, unpleasant status and how much more chaos the state government might have to be grappling with, having to add the problems of the restive youths from an area that had hitherto maintained its peaceful calm all along.
"We hope you know these might eventually be the least of the problems you may expect to come out of the 111 communities under OML 30. We are urging the state governor to rise up with us and resist this nightmare, prevent it from ever taking roots in your state, because they already have perfect contract papers, as we have reliably learned. Investigate this aberration and cut it with speed.
"Captain Hosa Okunbo is their merchant of fraud and destabilisation, who has his hand in many abysmally managed security contracts, he hold the PPMC-Kaduna Crude Line, which has one of the highest oil theft records in the country. He is obviously not a good hand in the business, but he is definitely good at money laundering."
The ex-militants called on Ifeanyi Okowa, Governor of Delta State, to call the attention of President Muhammadu Buhari to the "potential damaging business that his men are executing because from what we gathered, he is not informed of this sleaze".
Addressing the ex-militants on behalf of the state governor, the state Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Peter Mrakpor, thanked the ex-militants for their coordinated and peaceful protest and noted that their grievances would be presented to the state governor.